The Golden State Warriors take a 2-0 advantage to New Orleans after cruising to a 121-116 win over the Pelicans at Oracle Arena.
In his first appearance since suffering an MCL injury on March 24, Steph Curry made a successful return with 28 points in 27 minutes , while Kevin Durant led the way with 29 points.
Here are three takeaways from Game 2 :
Tte Pelicans played the Warriors to perfection through three quarters, trailing by two points heading into the fourth quarter, but the Dubs found another gear that the Pelicans just couldn't match.
With just under eight minutes remaining, Golden State held a 99-98 lead, before reeling off an 11-0 run to blow the game wide open. New Orleans responded with a 7-0 run of their own, but it was all too late.
Durant, who had struggled through the first three quarters, came to life down the stretch with 15 points in the final frame.
15 PTS for KD in the 4th!@warriors lead 119-106 with 1:47 to go on @NBAonTNT #DubNation pic.twitter.com/uA5Z7dCAoL- NBA (@NBA) May 2, 2018
Run Pelicans Run
Most teams don't want to get into a track meet with the Warriors, but the Pelicans are more than equipped to run with the defending champs. They finished the regular season 1st in pace in the NBA and today the fast-break was firing on all cylinders.
They found plenty of success getting out on the break early, scoring 20 of their 55 first-half points in transition and 39 for the game.
With Nikola Mirotic (18 points), Jrue Holiday (24), Rajon Rondo (22) and Davis (25) running the floor, the Pelicans piled on 66 points in the paint.
Starting off 💪#doitBIGGER pic.twitter.com/H0UDQcrvjd- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) May 2, 2018
When their three-point shot isn't dropping, the fast-break is their best offence.
Pelicans' free throw drought
The Pelicans did a great job of getting to the basket, but in the half-court, they have to make the Warriors work harder on defence.
They shot just nine free throws for the game, with Anthony Davis not getting to the line once.
As Draymond Green continues to dictate the series on both ends, AD has to make life difficult for him on the block.
Over the first two games, Golden State has shot 59 free throws to New Orleans' 20.