The Pelicans Routed in Opening Game at Golden State

Stephen Curry is nearing a return to the court. Couch Slouch is not

Even with Nikola Mirotic adding some new life to a Pelicans lineup that lost DeMarcus Cousins to injury, "New Orleans is going to have to maintain something like its first-round level of play to beat Golden State", Pelton writes. Game 2 had better wake New Orleans up, or this series could end up being one of the most disappointing of the entire playoffs.

Kerr knew he wanted Gentry on Golden State's staff when hired to coach the Warriors before the 2014-15 season - and it's among the first calls he made.

New Orleans swept Portland right out of the playoffs but the team is going to have to tighten up defensively if they hope to battle with the Warriors.

BC-BKN-Pelicans-Warriors, 1st Ld-Writethru, 980 Warriors use big second quarter to pull away, rout PelicansAP Photo OAS109, OAS108, OAS107, OAS106, OAS110, OAS113, OAS111Eds: Updates with new lede. The Warriors will have a hard task on their hands in trying to lock down Davis, but the Pelicans will be hard-pressed to keep up their hot streak from their series against Portland after almost a week off. However, the Pelicans have a great chance of winning this series.

The two teams were tied at 39 early in the second quarter, but Warriors outscored Pelicans by 20 points in the second quarter to take a 76-55 lead into the locker room. After Davis went off in the Pels opening round series against Portland, Shea Serrano quipped that he hoped this was a bear-tastes-human-blood situation; After the first game against Golden State, it's a deer-in-headlights-life-flashing-before-eyes situation. Those were almost all converted into buckets or free throw attempts at the other end. Golden State outscored the Pels 41-21 in the quarter. Jrue Holiday was held to 4-for-14 shooting and 11 points.

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The Bucks never got within single digits after that, and the Celtics led by as many as 19. "I decided that's not going to happen". He was spotted riding an exercise bicycle at the start of the second half and was later deemed available to return but did not.

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He also thanked the fans, who had seen him "grow since I was 12 years old and have supported me in good and bad times". Lopetegui said: "He is a player who first of all is still at the top of his game".

The Warriors are the best shooting side in the National Basketball Association by all 3 major box score metrics - they ranked first in field goal percentage, first in 3-point percentage and first in free throw shooting percentage over the course of the regular season. As if the Warriors didn't have enough talent already. The Warriors' chase of a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance gets a stiffer test beginning here.

How will the Warriors choose to matchup with Anthony Davis, who poured in 33.0 points on 57.6 percent shooting against the Blazers? With Al Horford (26 points) owning the paint and Terry Rozier (26 points, 5-of-8 from 3-point range) ripping the nets from outside, Celtics built a 19-point lead with five minutes remaining before coasting home.

Golden State is really, really good. Kevon Looney stepped into the rotation for Jordan Bell and contributed eight points and three boards in 23 minutes.

Curry, who won the MVP in 2015 and 2016, appeared in 51 games for the Warriors this season. While some of that can be chalked up to bad bounces or San Antonio's defense, the fact of the matter is the shots didn't go down. With every mistake, the angst grew more and more for the New Orleans Pelicans.

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