It got close in the end but the Golden State Warriors beat the New Orleans Pelicans to take a 1-0 lead in this first-round series. The Warriors have won 11 of their past 12 games against the Pelicans, and today marked their first playoff meeting.
Curry paces Warriors
Stephen Curry led the Warriors' charge with a team-high 34 points, scoring a season-high 16 points in the paint while missing just one attempt. He took advantage of half-court defensive switches, as six of his seven field goals in the paint came when defended by a Pelicans frontcourt player.
Curry scored 12 of Golden State's 22 transition points, converting on four of his seven attempts from the field.
The Splash Brother is as automatic as they come from the free throw line and beyond the arc, but he struggled in those areas Saturday. He missed a season-high three free throws and made just 27.3 percent (3-of-11) of his pull-up 3-point attempts. Curry led the league in that department this season, converting 42.3 percent of those shots.
Despite those uncommon struggles, the Warriors outscored the Pelicans by 20 points when Curry was on the floor, shooting 48 percent from the field. When Curry was off the court, the Pelicans outscored the Warriors by 13 points and Golden State shot 36 percent.
Curry and the rest of the Warriors' starters scored 94 of the team's 106 points. All five starters (Curry-Klay Thompson-Harrison Barnes-Draymond Green-Andrew Bogut) scored in double figures for the fifth time this season.
The Warriors' bench is usually very productive on the scoreboard, averaging 36.4 points per game this season, good for ninth in the NBA. The bench's 12 points today matched a season low.
Great performance in the loss
Anthony Davis scored a game-high 35 points and grabbed seven rebounds. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the fourth player in NBA history with at least 35 points and five rebounds in a postseason debut, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving. His 35 points are the third-most in NBA history by a player who lost in his playoff debut.
The Pelicans will have to figure out how to best utilize Davis and Omer Asik heading into Game 2.
Davis scored just six points with Asik on the court, and the Pelicans were outscored by 13 points when the two were on the floor at the same time. Asik played less than three minutes in the fourth quarter and that's when Davis capitalized. He scored 20 points in the final frame, his most in a quarter in his career.