Warriors pull away after halftime, close out Pelicans

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.

A second consecutive five-game series win vaults the defending champion and second-seeded Warriors up against the top-seeded Rockets in the Western Conference finals, a best-of-seven set that tips off Monday night in Houston.

"It's been a long time since we've seen them, but we know they are a great team," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the Rockets. "We know they are ready, and we'll be ready for them."

SEE ALSO: Chris Paul carries Rockets past Jazz in Game 5 win to reach his first-ever conference finals

Curry had 28 points, Durant 24 and Thompson 23 for the Warriors, whose 15th straight home playoff win tied the NBA record set by the Chicago Bulls from 1990-91.

Anthony Davis had his fifth double-double in the series with 34 points and 19 rebounds for the Pelicans, who have never advanced past the conference semifinals in their history.

Asked to assess the team's season, Davis said, "Any time you don't win a championship, I don't see how it could be successful. We can take a lot of positive things from the season. Of course one of our main guys (DeMarcus Cousins) went out and everybody doubted us. Everybody counted us out and we were able to keep fighting, keep pushing as a unit and able to come this far.

"There's no moral victories, but it's a lot that we can take from the season."

16 PHOTOS
NBA playoffs: The best photos from Round 2
See Gallery
NBA playoffs: The best photos from Round 2
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 01: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point basket against the New Orleans Pelicans during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 1, 2018 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 01: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the ball as Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Toronto Raptors defends in the second half of Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 1, 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 Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 30: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot against Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers during Game One in Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the 76ers 117-101. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 30: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after hitting a three point shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter of Game One of Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- MAY 3 - Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) dunks as the Toronto Raptors play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA playoffs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. May 3, 2018. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 3: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics goes to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2018 at the TD Garden 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 06: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz goes to the basket under the defense of James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in the second half during Game Four of Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 6, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rockets beat the Jazz 100-87. 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)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 05: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers hits the game winning shot over the outstretched hand of OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors to win Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals 105-103 during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 5, 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)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 7: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers gets into an altercation with Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics as Jayson Tatum #0 and Marcus Morris #13 of the Boston Celtics and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers try to break them up in the second quarter during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 7, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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)
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 05: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates his game winning shot with Kevin Love #0 next to Serge Ibaka #9 of the Toronto Raptors during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 5, 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)
May 7, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drive for a loose ball during the second quarter in game four of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
May 5, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) stands on the scorer's table after hitting the final shot to win the game against the Toronto Raptors in game three of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 08: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans goes up for a dunk on Quinn Cook #4, Kevon Looney #5, and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 8, 2018 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 9: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot over T.J. McConnell #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 9, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the 76ers 114-112 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
May 9, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) reacts after scoring against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half in game five of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
May 8, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) passes the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward David West (3) and guard Shaun Livingston (34) during the first quarter in game five of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Warriors led just 59-56 at halftime before hitting their first five shots of the third quarter to extend the margin to 13.

With Curry sinking a pair of 3-pointers and five free throws, three after having been fouled on a 3-point attempt, Golden State then ran off 19 of the next 25 points to open an 88-62 lead.

Durant pointed to the Warriors' defense in that sequence as the key.

"When we lock in and get stops, I think we're a very dangerous team in transition, and then we have guys that can do multiple things," Durant said. "Steph, Klay, run around and knock down 3-balls, and Steph creating the pick-and-roll and penetrating; I like to get in in my sweet spot and go to work.

"There's different ways we can score the ball, but I think defensively we try to play as hard as we can and contest shots and rebound."

Absent during the second half was Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo, who had a groin injury. The veteran had seven points and seven rebounds in the first half.

"His movement wasn't as it had been, and I just didn't think that it was worth risking something that could be serious," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said of leaving out Rondo the entire second half.

The Pelicans used a late 18-2 spurt to get within 107-100 with 2:01 to play, but Draymond Green hit a short turnaround jumper off an inbounds play, stalling the rally.

"I was really proud because we could have easily stopped playing," Gentry said of his team's comeback bid. "That's not in our DNA, none of the guys, and so we were going to compete until the final buzzer went off.

"We came very close to, you know, really getting back in the game with four minutes to go, but you know, they made a couple of plays because that's kind of who they are."

Curry, playing for just the fourth time in the series after having missed the first round against the San Antonio Spurs and Game 1 against the Pelicans with a knee injury, connected on 10 of 16 field-goal attempts and 3 of 6 3-point tries en route to his team-high point total.

The Warriors won despite getting outscored 30-21 on 3-pointers.

Green contributed a 19-point, 14-rebound double-double for the Warriors, who have won 24 of their past 27 playoff games. Green also had a team-high nine assists.

Davis hit 13 of his 26 shots en route to his game-high point tally. He also blocked four shots.

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.

Nikola Mirotic had 12 points and E'Twaun Moore 10 for New Orleans, which has lost 28 of its past 31 games against Golden State.

Next up for the Warriors is the long-anticipated showdown with the Rockets.

"Obviously it was so much coverage around the league and so much attention around our league, you hear about the best teams and the best players," Durant said. "I just try to stay in the moment. Anything could happen, but this is the matchup, and both teams are looking forward to going up and competing and having some fun."

--Field Level Media

Read Full Story