NBA Playoffs 2018: Warriors One Win Away From Reaching West Finals After 118-92 Victory Over Pelicans

Can the Golden State Warriors end their series with the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 5?

Sean GardnerGetty Images

After a blowout loss in Game 3, the Golden State Warriors managed to get revenge and beat the New Orleans Pelicans, 118-92, in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday night at the Smoothie King Center. Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 38 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while Stephen Curry added 23 points.

Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday believes Kevin Durant was the difference-maker in the game, as he’s almost unstoppable on the offensive ends of the floor. In 36 minutes on the court, the 29-year-old small forward shot 55.6 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. For Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, it is their defense that helped them get their third win of the series, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. The Warriors’ defense forced the Pelicans to make tough shots and commit multiple turnovers.

Kerr believes his decision to insert Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup paid off for Golden State. The Warriors ended the first quarter with a 15-point lead. The Pelicans managed to fight back in the second quarter, but their effort was not enough to grab the lead or even tie the game at the end of the first half. In the following quarters, the Warriors once again exploded on the offensive ends of the floor, while the Pelicans struggled to regain their rhythm.

Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry praised the Warriors’ defense and added that the only way they could win a series against them is by scoring at least 115 points. Unfortunately, in Game 4, their best player, Anthony Davis, was held to only 26 points on 36.4 percent shooting from the field, and was 0-of-4 from beyond the arc.

Nikola Mirotic and Rajon Rondo, who were impressive in Game 3, only contributed seven and six points, respectively. Unlike in the first three games, the Warriors shifted their focus on defense, which proved to be very effective against the Pelicans in Game 4.

Rondo admitted that most of the team was very frustrated with their performance in Game 4, especially on the defensive end of the floor. However, the veteran guard remains optimistic that the Pelicans can bounce back in Game 5 and extend their series against the Warriors.

Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Warriors and the Pelicans will be on Tuesday night at the Oracle Arena in California.