Sports

Portland Trail Blazers bested by New Orleans Pelicans again, 111-102

Portland Trail Blazers bested by New Orleans Pelicans again, 111-102

Jrue Holiday scored 33 points and dished out nine assists as the New Orleans Pelicans downed the host Portland Trail Blazers 111-102 Tuesday night to seize a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series. Between him on the frontline and Anthony Davis at the rim, New Orleans has stymied the Trail Blazers offense. "We had a ton of confidence coming in. I think you're starting to see how good he truly is".

Rondo got off to a nice start for New Orleans, dishing out several assists early in the game. New Orleans ended the game on a 12-2 run.

Lillard was particularly inaccurate when defended by Holiday, missing all four of his shot attempts (he's 0-of-8 with Holiday as a primary defender in the series, per ESPN Stats & Info) and committing a pair of turnovers. Rondo and Jrue Holiday have it out for Damian Lillard, and Lillard has yet to come up with an answer for them on either end of the floor.

Davis contributed to the "W" with 22 points and 13 rebounds. He's done it all season to every team in the league at one time or another.

The Blazers, who were bounced in the first round last season, are the team the most under pressure in this series.

Though Davis was his usual double-double self (22 points, 13 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo finished an assist away from a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists) in another strong playoff performance, this night belonged to Holiday.

"It's a team effort, everybody's aggressive (defensively)", Holiday said.

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It was obvious that Jusuf Nurkicwas trying to live up to his pledge to be more aggressive; he took eight shots in his first six minutes of play, and made three of them for six points. Today, he went off for a career playoff-high 33 points and nine assists.

This led to 21 points, and the Pelicans were lucky it didn't cost them a victory.

Then on Tuesday, Holiday and Rondo had a hand in all 20 of the Pelicans' final points.

In a season of unprecedented and unexpected feats, New Orleans accomplished something for the first time in franchise history, winning consecutive road playoff games. When Rondo buried a corner 3-pointer, the Pelicans were in front 108-100 with 38.9 seconds left.

Gentry also knows opening the playoff with two wins doesn't assure anything yet as the series shifts home to Smoothie King Center on Thursday and Saturday.

The Pelicans just need to win two more, and they have at least three at home. Expect them to be much more focused on this part of the game in Game 2. We haven't done anything yet.


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