JaVale McGee is starting for Golden State in Game 3 on Friday

Saturday, 05 May, 2018

Anthony Davis reacts after his slam dunk during the Pelicans' big win over the Warriors.

The Pelicans certainly played like their season depended on it. He is the first player since he managed it in 2011 to tally 20 or more assists in a playoff game.

The Warriors would be the favorites to create it 3-0 and advantage nearer to advancing into the last 4 of their National Basketball Association match.

So we mentioned the Pelicans' bench in our breakdown of Game 2 and how they weren't really providing their team any lift. "(In Game 2), we had a lot of open shots that we just didn't get in the basket. Remember the guys who ran the Pelicans off the court in Game 1 and outlasted them in Game 2 at Oracle Arena?

Nearly more impressively though for New Orleans, Rajon Rondo turned into the mythical "Playoff Rondo" once again.

In the first round, he put up 11.3 points, 7.5 boards and 13.3 assists in a four-game sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Pelicans could credit their lead at halftime to their superb 3-point shooting. It's not just that their shooters were off, although they were.

In cutting the Warriors' lead in a Western Conference semifinal series to 2-1, the Pels took a 17-point lead in the fourth period and stomped their collective foot on the accelerator.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, made 14 of 31 3s, with Holiday, Clark, Nikola Mirotic and Solomon Hill each hitting three. The Pelicans, with their backs against the wall, came out swinging and delivered a series of knockout punches in their 119-100, game three win. In fact, only Klay Thompson's shooting kept Golden State anywhere close. Stephen Curry was 6-of-19 and struggled to create space for himself all game, plus he was attacked on defense, that knee is not as healthy as everyone thought.

Draymond Green and Rondo continued to get chippy with each other, but Green insisted after the game that he's not the instigator this time around.

Curry put in another stellar showing, adding six rebounds and two assists to his 19 points. The Pelicans enjoyed a layup line en route to Anthony Davis (33 points) and Nikola Mirotic (16) attacking the basket easily.

"I think it was more of a team effort", Clark said.

Durant who typically prides himself on efficiency scoring the ball was only able to score 22 points while shooting 8-for-18 from the floor. Unselfish and creative passing is a hallmark of the Steve Kerr era - the system got a huge jump-start from Kerr's former assistant, Alvin Gentry, now the Pelicans head coach - and it was on display, in its highest form, in Oakland recently. The Pelicans shot 45% from downtown while the Warriors were just 29% from 3-point range.