Anthony Davis leads Pelicans to impressive sweep of Blazers in chippy Game 4

Entering the playoffs, the No. 3 seed Portland Trail Blazers were one of the hottest teams in the NBA led by an explosive backcourt of CJ McCollum and All-NBA candidate Damian Lillard, who had jumped into the stratosphere of elite NBA guards.

In the end, Portland was no match for “Playoff” Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday and the best player on the court, Anthony Davis, who led the 6th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans to a 131-123 Game 4 victory and series sweep of the Blazers on Saturday.

It was a chippy game, as the frustrations of an overwhelmingly disappointing performance surely weighed heavy for the Blazers in front of an energized Pelicans home crowd hungry for playoff success. A pair of scrums broke out in the first half, resulting in five technical fouls and a flagrant foul on McCollum for a hard foul on a driving  E’Twaun Moore.

In the end, no punches were thrown, in typical NBA fashion, but emotions were high in the Smoothie King Center.

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CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 15: JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cory Joseph #6 of the Indiana Pacers drive for a ball during the first half in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 15, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 14: C.J. Miles #0 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates after making a three-pointer as rap artist Drake celebrates on the sideline against the Washington Wizards in the first quarter during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on April 14, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 15: Jeff Teague #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves goes up for a shot defended by Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets and Chris Paul #3 in the second half during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on April 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with Jayson Tatum #0 after hitting a three point shot during the fourth quarter of Game One of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks during at TD Garden on April 15, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Apr 14, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Washngton Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dunks for a basket against Toronto Raptors in game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Milwaukee Bucks Tony Snell, left, gets rid of the ball in front of the Boston Celtics Greg Monroe, right, in first half action in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the TD Garden in Boston on April 17, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Apr 19, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Davis Bertans (left) and Golden State Warriors power forward David West (3) battle for a rebound in game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 19, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up prior to game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heatat American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 19, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu (8) during the second quarter in game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 19, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) dives for the loose ball Golden State Warriors small forward Kevon Looney (left) in game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 22 : Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs drives on Quinn Cook #4 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half of Game Four of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 22 , 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Apr 19, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up prior to game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heatat American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 20: Myles Turner #33 and Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Indiana Pacers celebrate at the end of game three of the NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 20, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers won 92-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz go for the ball in the second half during Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 21, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz beat the Thunder 115-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 24: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics competes for a loose ball against Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks and Thon Maker #7 during the fourth quarter in Game Five in Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Bucks 92-87. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is showered with water while being interviewed after a 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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It was a coronation for Davis, who has long carried the mantle of best player in the NBA without a playoff victory. Davis was dominant throughout the series for his first playoff wins in his sixth season. He averaged 28.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 steals through the first three games before dropping a monster line of 47 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks on Saturday.

Meanwhile, “Playoff” Rondo proved to be a real thing once again, as the veteran point guard stepped up his game against Portland. After posting averages of 8.3 points, 8.2 assists and four rebounds during the regular season, Rondo was good for 12.7 points, 12.3 assists and seven rebounds through the first three games. He dropped seven points, 16 assists and seven rebounds on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Holiday gave Lillard fits on defense throughout the series. Lillard, whose averages of 26.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds even earned some MVP whispers late in the regular season, was nowhere close to form during the series. He shot 32.7 percent from the field through three games while averaging 18.7 points and five turnovers against the long arms of the Pelicans guards. Saturday’s 19-point performance while hitting 1-of-5 three-pointers added up to another subpar effort.

Holiday did plenty of damage on the offensive side as well, averaging 23.3 points, six assists and 4.3 rebounds through three games before exploding for 41 points, eight assists and three rebounds on Saturday.

The Pelicans will have some time to enjoy their first playoff series win since 2008 before taking on the winner of Golden State-San Antonio. The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, have some soul searching to do.

33 PHOTOS
The best photos from the 2017-18 NBA season
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CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 13: Dwight Howard #12 of the Charlotte Hornets goes after a loose ball against Devin Harris #34 of the Dallas Mavericks during their game at Spectrum Center on October 13, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - OCTOBER 10: Elfrid Payton #2 of the Orlando Magic battles Amida Brimah #37 of the San Antonio Spurs for a loose ball, at AT&T Center on October 10, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 23: Mirza Teletovic #35 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to a three point shot against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of a game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on October 23, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 27: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors and Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards gets tangled up in a fight during the second quarter of their NBA basketball game at ORACLE Arena on October 27, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Mario Hezonja #8 of the Orlando Magic reaches for the ball in the second half against the Orlando Magic during their game at Barclays Center on October 20, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - NOVEMBER 7: Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs steals the ball from Patrick Beverley #21 of the Los Angeles Clippers at AT&T Center on November 7, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 06: Josh Jackson #20 of the Phoenix Suns battles for a loose ball with Timofey Mozgov #20 and Allen Crabbe #33 of the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 6, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Enes Kanter #00 of the New York Knicks exchange words in the first half at Madison Square Garden on November 13, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 17: Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Charlotte Hornets tries to shoot against Robin Lopez #42 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 17, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 15: Robert Covington #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in the first overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center on December 15, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 119-117 in triple overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 01: Jakob Poeltl #42 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball as Thaddeus Young #21 of the Indiana Pacers defends during the second half of an NBA game at Air Canada Centre on December 1, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: JJ Redick #17 of the Philadelphia 76ers is called for an offensive foul against Kris Dunn #32 of the Chicago Bulls as he puts up a shot at the United Center on December 18, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 117-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 13: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up to dunk the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 13, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 20: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after sinking a three point shot against the Miami Heat during the second quarter at TD Garden on December 20, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 2: Referee Steve Anderson #35 listens to Isaiah Thomas #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers after Thomas was charged with a technical foul during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Quicken Loans Arena on January 2, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 29: Malcolm Delaney #5 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles the ball as Delon Wright #55 of the Toronto Raptors defends during the second half of an NBA game at Air Canada Centre on December 29, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 12: Meyers Leonard #11 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots over Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is fouled as he drives to the basket by Daniel Theis #27 of the Boston Celtics during a game at TD Garden on February 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 4: Caris LeVert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets dunks the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the game at Barclays Center on February 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 10: Marcin Gortat #13 of the Washington Wizards is fouled by Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Wizards defeated the Bulls 101-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks over Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on February 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 07: Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball over Ish Smith #14 of the Detroit Pistons in the first half of an NBA game at Little Caesars Arena on March 7, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Raptors defeat the Pistons 121-119. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets takes a shot against Briante Weber #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies in the fourth quarter during their game at Barclays Center on March 19, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Nov 5, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) shoots the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Jeff Green (left) pressures him during the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. The Hawks won 117-115. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. (3) dives onto the scorers table diving for a ball heading out of bounds during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 26, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) reacts to missing a shot in the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 27, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Avery Bradley (22) grabs a hold of Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Los Angeles Lakers guard Briante Weber (12) comes face to face with Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) under the basket in the second half of the game at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA, U.S., October 4, 2017. USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea/File Photo SEARCH "POY SPORT" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Dec 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) blocks a shot by Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Jan 6, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and Orlando Magic guard Mario Hezonja (8) go after the rebound the hits James in the face during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 5, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) slam dunks during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz (20) is doused with water by guard Ben Simmons (25) and center Amir Johnson (5) after recording his first triple double in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Mar 29, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez (42) shoots defended by Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the first half of an NBA game at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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