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The New Orleans Pelicans shock the Golden State Warriors, 103-100

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Suddenly, the whole postseason thing isn't so far-fetched anymore.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, Steve Kerr announced he wasn't going to rest any of his players for tonight's game.

As I alluded to in the preview, the Pelicans were not going to be caught off guard by this decision. In fact, I believed they probably reveled at the chance to prove to great competition they belong inside the playoff picture.

One would have never known this to be the fact in the first half (and Monty supported this conclusion with his post-game comments), but the second half was a thing of beauty. Just like the Pelicans had exploded against the Blazers out of halftime a few days ago, they managed the same feat tonight. A 10-0 run showed there would be no quit in this dog (more on this specific phrase later).

For those who have forgotten, the Pelicans and Warriors last meeting in the Smoothie King Center went down to the wire. Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson had chances to put the Pelicans ahead before the end of regulation, but it never transpired. Eventually we lost in overtime. However, one important thing to note was that the Pelicans didn't have Anthony Davis nor Eric Gordon (the Warriors didn't have Andrew Bogut).

Tonight, the Pelicans had both players, but it didn't seem to matter at first. In his post-game comments, Monty talked about how the team didn't play with any dog in the 1st half. Later, he would go on to state that he hasn't specifically seen that dog out of Davis for several games now. Well, whatever transpired during halftime, that dog made a HUGE appearance in the 2nd half.

Although it wasn't the same type of exclamation Davis had in the last Pelican-Thunder game that clinched the tie-breaker, this game might go down as his most important one of his career to date. Beating the best team in the league, when every remaining game is do or die to make the playoffs, carries a ton of weight.

Game Recap

Quincy Pondexter got the Pelicans on the board first with a 3-pointer, but after that, New Orleans struggled to even get shot attempts; they had 3 turnovers in the first 3 minutes. A short while later, Tyreke Evans had to sit with two personal fouls. However, they remained in the game because the Warriors were not on fire {insert Eric Gordon's where-is-my-foul face} and the Pelicans made 3 three-pointers and 6-8 from the line.

In fact, the Pelicans retook the lead 19-17, but after a Warriors timeout, New Orleans wouldn't score in the first quarter again. Yep, the Warriors closed out the frame on a 10-0 run. They had 14 points to just 4 for the home team in the paint and a 6-1 advantage in the turnovers department.

In the 2nd quarter, Alexis Ajinca and Ryan Anderson carried the offense for awhile, but not making the extra pass became a theme for a bit. Instead of an additional pass finding an open man, the Pelicans settled for several contested shots. Combine that with the Warriors scoring 8 of their first 10 points in the paint, the Pelicans had no chance to close the gap.

Naturally, the Pelicans would go on to have a few runs. A nice lob to AD for a dunk here, an Anderson three there and the score was a manageable 43-38 with just 2:43 remaining in the first half. Welp, just like how GSW caught fire to close the first quarter, they did the same in the second. All thanks to three-pointers and 3 of their 4 by my pick for the MVP, Stephen Curry.

For the half, the Pelicans shot a miserable 34.9% from the floor, with Anthony Davis 2 of 10 and Ryan Anderson 3 of 9 leading the way. Conversely, Steph had 16 points, including a perfect 4-4 from deep. New Orleans was fortunate to not find themselves down by more than 12 at the break.

Thus, the third quarter began like you thought it would -- the Pelicans on a 10-0 run. Along the way, Andrew Bogut picked up his fourth foul. Stephen Curry missed a wide open three. Before you knew it, the game was tied and then the teams started trading punches. Man was it fun! By the time the dust settled, the Pelicans had a 79-78 edge heading into the final frame.

To start the fourth quarter, the Pelicans pushed the lead up to 6 but it could have been larger had the Pelicans executed just a bit better, or nabbed a few more defensive boards. Momentarily they would go on to lead by 8 before the Warriors mounted a charge; conversely, New Orleans offense disappeared. In the span of less than 3 minutes, the Pelicans found themselves down by a point (a quick 9 point turnaround).

Tonight, the Pelicans didn't flinch. They retook the lead and extended it despite missing 3 of 7 crucial free throw attempts. Up 100-95 with 1:10 remaining, they looked prime for the win, but an uncontested lay-in by Draymond Green and a Curry three had the game tied again.

After an apparent turnover by a sloppy Anderson pass, a Tyreke Evans dive for the loose ball against Andre Iguodala turned out to be gigantic. The Pels were correctly awarded possession and then Iggy sent Evans to the line on the following possession when he was merely dribbling up the court. He made 1 of 2 from the line and then the Pelicans dodged their first dagger -- a Curry runner in the lane.

After AD made a couple of free throws off that rebound, Curry once again had a chance to prolong the agony. However, in a weird play and I guess according to the referee's account, he dropped the ball before his feet landed back on the court on an attempted three. He then picked it up, flipped it towards the rim and it narrowly rimmed out! Ball don't lie?

Regardless, Pelicans WIN!

Game Notes

- Anthony Davis started slowly but he finished with the best line of the night (yep better than Steph, the favorite for the MVP): 29 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals/assists. He had been in a bit of funk, by his standards, but came out and dominated in the 2nd half. Without this performance, the Pelicans don't come close to winning the game.

- I've fallen in love with Quincy Pondexter and I'm sure I'm not the only one. He was absolutely magnificent on BOTH sides of the ball. He blanketed Curry as best as any human being possibly can and then proceeded to make 6 of 7 shots, including 4-4 from deep, on the other end. My only question is what's up with just the 7 attempts? It's time this dog starts getting a bigger part of the pie because he's been way too hot for too long for the offense to continue to ignore him for stretches.

- Tyreke Evans' line seemed quiet (12 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) but he had a Draymond Green type of effect on the game -- he was instrumental in a number of key possessions all over the floor.

- The rest of the players all had their moments on offense: Asik with a couple of nice moves/plays early in the third quarter, Anderson making a couple of shots to start the fourth and Gordon picking his moments. However, it was the team's effort level that should be applauded. Once the Pelicans overcame their 1st half hiccups, everyone on the roster that played in the game had some kind of positive effect.

Up Next

With the Spurs dismantling the Thunder in Oklahoma, the Pelicans have a 1-game lead in the loss column. The New Orleans' tiebreaker continues to loom larger by the day! In the preview, I stated that a win could conceivably start a snowball effect. Having not beating a Western Conference playoff team since March 7th had to be weighing on everyone's mind. Now, a few days after the Spurs dismantled the Warriors, the Pelicans went and beat a focused #FullSquadron that was 63-14?

YUM! Tonight's win just might lead to something quite memorable!!!

However, before anyone decides to get complacent, the Pels have to travel to Memphis tonight to face the Grizzlies tomorrow. Don't expect them to lay down neither as they're in third place in the standings, just a game behind the Houston Rockets for that enviable 2 seed. Trust me, it's a big deal to get home court advantage through the first few rounds of the Western Conference.

Quentin will have your Grizzlies game preview in the near future. Geaux Pelicans!