(Sporting Alert) — After an impressive display in Game 1 of their Western Conference first round series against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Golden State Warriors will try to take a 2-0 lead when the pair meet in Game 2 on Monday night.
The Warriors (1-0) secured a 106-99 victory in the opening game of the series on Saturday, with MVP leading candidate Stephen Curry leading the way with a top score of 34 points, as the home side dominated the opening three-quarters of the competition.
Golden State opened up a 25 points lead in the closing part of the third quarter, but Anthony Davis and the Pelicans (0-1) found rhythm in the fourth quarter to trim the lead steadily to single digits.
At one point, the gap was down to just four points, but the Warriors held their nerves to finish-off the job.
“We missed a lot of free throws that made it closer than it needed to be,” Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said.
Anthony Davis, making his playoffs debut, recovered from a slow start to score 20 points in the fourth quarter en route to his 35 points, seven boards and four blocks performance for the New Orleans.
The star forward admitted that he struggled to get going in the opening minutes of the game – playing in the ORACLE Arena in front of 19,596 supporters, but grew in confidence as the game moves on.
“It’s definitely a different level, different atmosphere,” Davis said. “Calls are different. Guys been scouting you, they know your moves. It’s very different.
“But this is what you come to the league for, to get playoff experience and eventually get to the Finals and win a ring. But it starts here.
“My first playoff experience, it was pretty hectic. So much going on, it was so loud I couldn’t hear my teammates, my coaches.
“We started off bad as a team and picked it up as a team when we all got calm.”
The Pelicans will need another star-studded performance from Davis if they are going to stand a chance off pulling a game back before heading home.
New Orleans are expected to be without Tyreke Evans, who left Game 1 early due to an injured knee.
Meanwhile, in the other Game 2 on Monday night, the Chicago Bulls will take a 1-0 lead into their Eastern Conference first round series with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Point guard Derrick Rose made an impressive return to playoff action after scoring 23 points and seven assists in his first playoff outing since tearing his ACL in 2012.
Game 2 of this series will be live on TNT, starting at 7:00 PM CT.