The Golden State Warriors bounced back nicely from a disappointing performance to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-92 in game 4.
For the first time all series, the Warriors went with the “Hamptons 5” starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. It proved to be the right combination.
The Warriors were excellent in the first quarter on each end of the court. They were hitting shots and playing staunch defense to effectively silence the Pelicans home crowd that felt exceedingly optimistic after the Pelicans dominant game 3 performance.
The first quarter concluded with the Warriors ahead 37-22. Anthony Davis led all scorers on the floor with 14 points in the first quarter. Durant led the Warriors with 10 first quarter points.
The shooting discrepancy in the first quarter between the two squads was especially stark. The Warriors shot 60% on field goals in the first quarter, while the Pelicans shot just 29% on first-quarter field goals.
The Warriors also looked like they finally regained their stroke from downtown. They were 5-9 on 3-pointers in the opening quarter.
Their offense as a whole looked incredibly fluid with their selfless ball movement. In the opening quarter, the Warriors assisted on 12 of their 15 total field goals.
The Pelicans played much better in the second quarter and took advantage of a long stretch where the Warriors simply couldn’t buy a basket from downtown.
Halftime arrived with the Warriors once commanding lead dwindled down. They held onto a 61-54 lead after the first half.
Durant was the game’s leading scorer at halftime with 20 points. He also grabbed an impressive 7 rebounds in the first half.
Davis led the Pelicans with 18 first-half points and added 6 first-half rebounds. E’Twaun Moore also had 11 points for the Pelicans by halftime.
The Warriors shot 53% from the field in the first half, while the Pelicans managed to shoot just 37% on first-half field goals.
The Warriors put the hammer down in the third quarter, quieting the crowd once again to cruise to a 94-73 lead with one final quarter to go.
Durant had 33 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists through three quarters. Davis led the Pelicans with 24 points after three quarters.
Rajon Rondo was not racking up as lofty of assists totals as he did in his remarkable game 3 performance, but he did manage to grab 10 rebounds after three quarters.
The Warriors 51% on field goals through the first three quarters while also holding the Pelicans to just 37% from the field during that same span.
The hefty lead was never threatened in the final quarter, and the Warriors held on to claim a 118-92 victory and bring the series back to Oakland for game 5 with a 3-1 series lead.
Durant led the game with 38 points. He also pulled in 9 rebounds and dished out 5 assists. Curry scored 23 points in another strong game since returning from injury.
Green once again flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists. He also collected 4 steals and blocked 2 shots. Quinn Cook provided a nice spark off the bench for the Warriors. He scored 12 points in 17 minutes off the bench.
Davis led the Pelicans with 26 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic went just 1-7 from the floor shooting, but grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 2 shots.
Moore finished with 20 points. Former Warriors player Ian Clark was not as efficient as he was in game 3. He scored 11 points off the bench but went 4-14 from the field and 0-7 from 3-point range.
As a team, the Warriors shot 48% from the field. They held the Pelicans to just 36% on field goals, including a putrid 4-26 on 3-point field goals.
The Pelicans outscored the Warriors 52-36 in points in the paint, but their lack of effectiveness on 3-point field goals is what made this game such a resounding blowout.
The Warriors will now head back to Oakland for game 5 with a chance to punch their ticket to the Western Conference Finals.