Warriors v. Pelicans Game 3 Recap

Published: April 24, 2015

Quotes and a Recap

“If you play poorly on offense, it’ll put you in difficult positions defensively.”

“They kicked our butts for three quarters, but fortunately we had time to come back.”

-Golden State Warriors Head Coach Kerr on the Warriors’ struggles early on.

Head Coach Monty Williams Tidbit: Said the plan was to foul when up three with 10 seconds left. After the first miss, too much space between Quincy Pondexter and Steph Curry to foul him. (Maybe savvy to find the rebound 99% of the time, but not when you’re matching Curry, different rules when covering him.)

“[We kept telling each other] It’s a long game, it’s a long game.”

-Steph Curry, on how the team stayed motivated in order to mount their comeback.

“Not sure, thought we made it very clear, things happen in the game, nothing we can do about it now. Just go back and try to figure it out. Try to figure out what we did wrong. That one play didn’t decide the game.”

-Anthony Davis on the last play of regulation

What happened:

The New Orleans Pelicans played a great game for three quarters against the Golden State Warriors. That didn’t stop them from losing 123-119 in overtime. Unlike in Game 2 where things were just going the Pelicans way from the outset, this game the Pelicans had to fight through an early onslaught of Curry and Klay Thompson 3s in order to take the lead at the end of the first. The Pelicans played a great second and third quarter and built a 20-point lead. But the Pelicans blew the game in the 4th quarter, giving up 39 points, being completely outexecuted, outhustled, and outplayed.

After the game, Kerr looked thrilled, while Curry and Thompson seemed euphoric. Williams had the look of a captain trying to right the ship, trying to remain calm. Pre-game he mentioned how he had to have different conversations with players this go around in the playoffs than his first time, since this team is so much younger. You get the impression Monty’s press conference would have gone quite differently if he had an older team. Davis was teary eyed; you could tell he was trying to compose himself a bit. New Orleans should be excited to have a superstar who continues to grow. But they should really be ecstatic about having a superstar who cares this much about winning. This was not a “made for TV” moment. This is a player who is going to feel the loss more than anyone else tonight. Who talked about what he “could do better” when he went for 29 points and 15 rebounds and three blocks. As someone who loves the game of basketball, I loved hearing that. For that is someone who I’d want to play with/for.

(As an aside, I did find myself wondering why no one else sat next to Davis. I totally understand not wanting to do it, and most people only having questions for Davis, but personally felt it was weird not having a teammate sitting next to him, in what had to be one of the toughest press conferences that he’s had to give. Want to see Ryan Anderson or Norris Cole up there next to him.)

No matter what negativity is going around, this is a young team that just took a huge lump, but played their hearts out. Jrue Holiday looked great, making all the right reads, all the right plays, not requiring the ball too much, trying to fit in. Playing fantastic defense and scoring 10 points and having four assists. Cole played great, scoring 16 points on 7/10 shooting and playing hounding defense. Anderson played with confidence, backing down smaller players, nailing three pointers, playing with a fire that the team needs. He finished with 26 points on 10/14 shooting and five rebounds. Tyreke Evans played fantastic as well, best game he’s had this postseason, scoring 19 points and having eight assists. Omer “No Ice” Asik played a physical game, playing good defense in the paint.


Here’s how the team fared on my Keys to the Game:

Attack the paint- The Pelicans scored 46 points in the paint on 39 shots. They outscored the Warriors 46-42 in the paint. Offense was not the issue for the Pelicans until the 4th quarter, where New Orleans scored six points PITP on 3/10 shooting. The team stopped executing.

No Easy Points- The Pelicans did a great job the first three quarters. The Pelicans only gave up 20 points in the paint through three quarters, and had only 10 offensive rebounds for 11 second chance points. But in the fourth quarter, the Pelicans gave up 18 points in the paint, and 10 offensive rebounds for 16 second chance points. Inconceivable!

Resting Davis (And Evans) – The Pelicans did a much better job of resting their guys. Davis got seven minutes off, all in regulation, while Evans played in 39 minutes total, less than the 41 he logged just in regulation with a bone bruise on Tuesday. Holiday playing made Evans’ substitutions easier. Anderson catching fire allowed the Pelicans to rest Davis. The Pelicans were +1 while Davis was sitting, outscoring the Warriors in the first half with Davis out 9-7, but being outscored 10-11 in the second half. Either way, the Pelicans were afforded the ability to rest their star more, which was crucial after watching a gassed Davis struggle at the end of the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

Extra offense- New Orleans succeeded here, scoring 108 in regulation, and 119 overall. nderson’s 26 were huge, as were Evans’ 19. Cole came through with 16 and Holiday had 10.

*Extra Key- Closing Out Quarters- I didn’t put this in the article, but tweeted it before the game. The Pelicans have struggled closing out quarters against this Warriors team, watching them go on runs regularly. This happened twice tonight. In the second quarter, the Pelicans were leading 61-45 with 1:25 left, and somehow gave up a 7-2 run to allow the Warriors to close the lead to 11. In the fourth quarter, Ryan Anderson made a fadeaway with 6:01 left in the game (or so we thought) giving the Pels a 101-84 lead. After that shot, the only field goal the New Orleans made in regulation was a putback Davis dunk off an Evans miss with 3:12 remaining. The Pelicans were outscored 24-7 in the final six minutes of the game.


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