All Smiles as the Pelicans Down Spurs in Season Finale

All Smiles as the Pelicans Down Spurs in Season Finale

In one corner, one of the league's best backcourts in Damian Lillard and C.J.

The NBA playoff matchups are all set and the Portland Trail Blazers are the third seed in the Western Conference and will have home-court advantage in the first round against the New Orleans Pelicans. Through three quarters Saturday, it looked as if those stats should have been flipped as the Pelicans held the Trail Blazers to just 63 points and 36.6% shooting before the last period.

Lillard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while McCollum had 19 points.

The Blazers split the season series with the Pelicans, winning the first matchup in October 103-93 and the final meeting in March 107-103. But late this season, he shaved his beard, joined the starting lineup and he's been thriving ever since, scoring no fewer than 21 points in a game during the Pelicans' season-ending five-game winning streak.

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And the throng of Pelicans' fans displayed their appreciation, standing and cheering as Holiday and Davis left the floor with more than three minutes remaining and cheering their way to the exits as the coronation was complete.

The Pelicans still led by 13 with 5:08 left, but wouldn't score again for more than two and a half minutes. Lillard missed in the lane with 15 seconds remaining with the Blazers still down one, and after Davis made two free throws, Holiday blocked Pat Connaughton's layup with 6.3 seconds to go. "I think there is a sense of confidence that he has, especially this time of the year", Gentry said. I've obviously had the opportunity to coach Steph (Curry), Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Grant Hill. "But they have Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Rondo, E'Twaun Moore, they've got a lot of guys that make them a unsafe team". "He makes them believe in themselves". Davis knows legacies are built with postseason wins.

If you're going to slow down the Pelicans, you have to contend with Anthony Davis, and that will be the job - for much of the game, at least - of center Jusuf Nurkic. "Anthony Davis has been an outstanding player".

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