Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday Combine for 88 as Pelicans Sweep Trail Blazers

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 21, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis reacts after making a 3-point shot during the first half of Game 4 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in New Orleans, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)
Scott Threlkeld/Associated Press

Anthony Davis scored 47 points and Jrue Holiday added 41 more as the New Orleans Pelicans completed their first-round NBA playoff sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers 131-123 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday.

Rajon Rondo nearly posted a triple-double by amassing seven points, 16 assists and seven rebounds.

C.J. McCollum led the Blazers with 38 points, while Al-Farouq Aminu contributed 27. Damian Lillard (19 points) led the rest of the starters, who scored 117 of the team's 123 points.

Both teams put on offensive clinics: New Orleans made 57.0 percent of its field goals, while Portland wasn't far behind as it hit 52.6 percent of its shots.

The difference was New Orleans' ability to get to the free-throw line, as it connected on 32 of its 39 attempts from the charity stripe (Portland went 13-of-16). The Pels also won the battle of the boards, 44-33.

After taking a 58-56 lead into halftime, the Pelicans caught fire in a 42-point third quarter, as noted by the NBA's Twitter account:

In particular, Davis scored 19 of his points in the frame:

Will Guillory of The Times-Picayune put it best:

The Pels took a 100-87 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Blazers refused go away, opening the frame on a 15-4 run to cut the New Orleans lead to just 104-102 with 8:47 remaining. The advantage got as low as one when Aminu made a layup with 5:08 left.

However, Davis and Holiday were simply too strong down the stretch, as the duo scored New Orleans' final 12 points to maintain the lead and earn the eight-point victory.

During that span, Davis had a key putback slam to give the Pels a four-point lead:

Holiday also made a clutch bucket with less than a minute remaining:

This is New Orleans' second playoff series win dating back to 2002-03. The Pels have never advanced past the conference semifinals.

For the Blazers, a strong season that featured a stellar second half and a third seed in the Western Conference playoffs ends in disappointment. Portland has now lost in the first round three times in the past four years.

New Orleans will play the winner of the Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals. Currently, Golden State is up 3-0 on the Spurs and will advance to the second round with a win on Sunday.

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