Pelicans beat Blazers in Game 1 of NBA playoffs


Posted at Apr 15 2018 01:24 PM | Updated as of Apr 15 2018 02:56 PM

Anthony Davis shoots a basket during the first half during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers in game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center. Reuters/Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

(UPDATE) Anthony Davis scored 35 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the visiting New Orleans Pelicans held off the Portland Trail Blazers to win the opener of their first-round Western Conference playoff series 97-95 Saturday night.

Jrue Holiday scored 21 points, Nikola Mirotic collected 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo contributed six points, eight rebounds and 17 assists for the sixth-seeded Pelicans.

CJ McCollum scored 19 points and Damian Lillard 18 for the Trail Blazers, who rallied from a 19-point, third-quarter deficit but could never take the lead.

Davis scored 17 and Holiday 15 as New Orleans carried a 45-36 advantage into halftime. Lillard and McCollum combined for three points on 1-for-15 shooting in the first half. The Blazers shot 31.9 percent from the field before intermission, including 3 of 17 from 3-point range.

New Orleans increased the margin to 69-50 on a Holiday layup midway through the third quarter. The Blazers trimmed the difference to 75-63 heading into the final period.

Lillard knocked down a 3-pointer to draw Portland within 77-70 with 9:06 remaining. New Orleans built the lead back to 86-72 on a Davis dunk off a lob pass with 6:09 to play. McCollum converted a three-point play to cut it to 86-75 with 5:22 to go.

Davis dunked again at the other end, but Portland's Jusuf Nurkic followed with a three-point play to make it 88-78 with 4:55 remaining. Lillard's layup trimmed the margin to 88-80 with 4:02 to go.

McCollum's jumper brought Portland within 88-83 with 3:33 left. Lillard made a pair at the line, and New Orleans' lead was at 88-85 with 2:47 to play.

Ian Clark buried a 3-pointer to hike the Pelicans' edge to 91-85 with 2:25 to go. Nurkic sank a pair at the line, and it was 91-87 with 2:15 left. Rondo scored on a driving layup to make it 93-87, but Evan Turner hit a reverse layup, and McCollum followed with a trey from the corner to bring Portland to within 93-92 with 59.8 seconds on the clock.

When Davis missed a 3-point attempt, the Blazers rebounded with 25.5 seconds left. After a timeout, Lillard missed a floater in the key. Davis rebounded and was fouled with 12.4 seconds remaining. Davis made both free throws to give the Pelicans a 95-92 lead.

After a timeout, Portland's Pat Connaughton tried for a dunk and was blocked from behind by Holiday. Davis sealed the verdict with a pair of free throws with 4.9 seconds left.

McCollum made a meaningless 3-pointer in the final second.

Portland jumped to an 8-2 lead as New Orleans started the game 1 of 7 from the field. The Pelicans rallied for a 21-18 advantage after one quarter.

New Orleans increased the edge to 43-32 late in the second quarter. The Pelicans took a nine-point lead into the half.

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