Kevin Durant had three hoops while teammate Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry added one apiece in a 10-point flurry that opened the second half and broke open a close game Tuesday night, lifting the Golden State Warriors to a 113-104 triumph over the New Orleans Pelicans in Oakland, Calif., and a 4-1 victory in their Western Conference semifinal series.
Jrue Holiday chipped in with a 27-point, 10-rebound, 11-assist triple-double for the sixth-seeded Pelicans, who had swept the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
"I feel confident in what I'm able to do out there", Curry said. "Timing can still get a bit better with the ball and things like that when you start to get so excited", the two-time MVP said. "I'll continue to get better, continue to get my timing right, continue to get back to the normal rotation, the normal minutes I'm out there playing and hopefully won't look back".
Houston is a 2-point favorite in Game 1 of the series, which is slated for Monday. The Warriors, making their sixth-straight playoff appearance, won the 2015 and 2017 NBA Championships and have earned three consecutive NBA Finals appearances since their return to the playoffs in 2013.
The Jazz are facing elimination in Game 5, and they did a pretty good job of hanging around in the first half. And they have an incredible coach in Brad Stevens and still have a very real shot to make the Finals; they now have a 3-1 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.
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As for the second game of the night, it was another blowout win for the Warriors.
Draymond Green: 19 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists. Most importantly, the Warriors have to love how Curry is responding after coming back from a sprained MCL injury in Game 2. He added eight assists and seven rebounds in Game 5. "It feels like he's back now".
On a side note, he went 0 for 5 on his signature tunnel shots before the game. But the Jazz quickly bounced back, even taking the lead thanks to an incredible performance from Donovan Mitchell, who dropped 22 points in the third.
It's fun to follow the NBA regular season and watch the best basketball players in the world do unbelievable things, and the first two rounds of the playoffs have certainly had some thrilling moments.
Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who owns a 54-17 (.764) record in the playoffs, is the fourth coach in National Basketball Association history to guide his club to conference finals in his each of his first four seasons, joining Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and Johnny Kundla.