New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets Bounce Back In Game 3

New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets Bounce Back In Game 3

Down 2-0 in the series, Rondo needed to deliver once again in Game 3 if his team stood any chance of coming up with a victory.

"We locked in a lot more on their shooters than in the first two games", Clark said of the Pels' general defensive philosophy.

Why? Because the way they sleepily moved through the regular season (en route to 58 wins, by the way) wasn't because Golden State has lost a step collectively.

Both teams talked about the importance of getting off to a fast start, but only the Pelicans followed through on that.

Both Jrue Holiday and Kevin Durant had 11 points after the first.

The Warriors weren't able to keep up their comeback, however, as the Pelicans took control right from the beginning of the third quarter.

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The Pelicans proved they can hang with the Warriors in their blowout win in Game 3 of their playoff series. The Pelicans would hold the lead heading to the half 62-56.

Nearly more impressively though for New Orleans, Rajon Rondo turned into the mythical "Playoff Rondo" once again. Houston led by 17 after the first quarter, by 30 at the half, and won by 21. The New Orleans Pelicans are averaging 113.4 points on 49.5 percent shooting and allowing 109.4 points on 45 percent shooting. At one point in the first half, New Orleans was 10-of-15 from 3, while Golden State was just 5-of-15. Rondo also threw a handful of pristine bounce-pass entry feeds that helped Davis and others get layups or rhythm turnaround jumpers. But after locking up the Warriors and holding them to 19 third-quarter points, New Orleans was well out of reach. Led by guard Rajon Rondo and forward Anthony Davis, the Pelicans hounded the Warriors for most of the game.

Klay Thompson scored 26 for Golden State, but missed 13 of 22 shots.

Steph Curry was a bit off tonight and while he put up 19 points, he only shot 32 percent from the floor. Anthony Davis poured in 33 points to go with a monster total of 18 boards with four steals and three assists to boot. Rajon Rondo, their veteran point guard, had almost as many assists (21) as the Warriors. Mirotic added 16 points and 13 rebounds.

"I think it was more of a team effort", Clark said. Harden only needed to play 30 minutes, putting up a cool 25 points and 12 assists, while Eric Gordon matched up with 25 points of his own off the bench. 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. Durant continued his post-season struggles from 3-point range (1-of-6).

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