The Golden State Warriors are headed towards a few days of rest after a 109-98 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, making it 4-0 and completing the first round sweep behind another incredible shooting performance from Stephen Curry.
Curry scored 39 points to go with 8 rebounds and 9 assists, hitting 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. He’s averaging 33.8 points per game in this postseason and of all the things the Pelicans have struggled with, slowing him down has been on top of the list, regardless of what they were throwing at him to try and make him miss some shots.
They weren’t having a very easy time making anyone miss shots. The Warriors shot 50.6% from the field, including 13-of-24 from beyond the arc. The Pelicans shot well in the first half as well but faded away in the third quarter, and never got closer than 7 points with 1:54 left in the game. Pretty soon, some big shots from Draymond Green and another 3-pointer, this time from Klay Thompson, sealed the deal, the game and the series.
Anthony Davis scored 36 points, grabbing 11 rebounds as well, to cap off his first career playoff experience. It ended with being swept away, but the Pelicans see this as a stepping stone towards greater things. Davis averaged 31.5 points per game in this series. He got help in the form of 29 points from Eric Gordon, but too many players who are non-factors offensively (Omer Asik, Quincy Pondexter) and simply not keeping up defensively meant this series was too high of a mountain and task for Davis to overcome.
Klay Thompson scored 25 points and Draymond Green added 22, grabbing 10 rebounds and 8 assists. With every game like this his price tag goes up, and it’s going to be very difficult hanging on to him with a long term deal this offseason, because Green is going to receive a big offer from someone. For the Warriors, it’s going to be a matter of luxury tax considering all their other deals.
Steve Kerr, on his first stint as a head coach, moves on into the conference semifinals, and it’s going to mean some rest for his players, although the Grizzlies are one win away from sweeping the Blazers in the series that collides with this one. It’s been one, long and very impressive debut season for him on the sidelines, but this dreamy debut isn’t over yet.
Curry is playing elite basketball right now, at the highest possible level. He’s no longer being held back which means his numbers are flying off the charts. Right now, regardless of who the Warriors face next (and it’s going to be Memphis, at least in the conference semifinals), it’s hard imagining anyone stopping him but his own hot hand growing cold all of a sudden.