NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Pelicans never doubted they could do this.
Despite losing the first two games of their Western Conference semifinals to the Golden State Warriors, the Pelicans always believed that better performances were within them. After running over the Warriors in a 119-100 Game 3 victory, that confidence will only grow stronger. Anthony Davis had a monster night going off for 33 points and 18 rebounds while Rajon Rondo came through with 21 assists and 10 rebounds of his own, one fewer assist than the entire Warriors team combined. The Pelicans controlled the tempo throughout the night, never allowing the Warriors’ vaunted offense to develop any rhythm.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry continued to fuel his team with belief throughout the past few days, reiterating before Friday’s contest that the Pelicans knew they could beat the Warriors at their own game — running and gunning up the floor against stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. The key for Gentry in Game 3 was that his team played with a defensive ferocity that set the tone throughout the night.
The Warriors weren’t getting a lot of clean looks and weren’t able to push the tempo like they usually do. Warriors swingman Klay Thompson bounced back after a 4-for-20 performance in Game 2 with 26 points in Game 3,