April 18, 2018 / 5:20 AM / 7 months ago

Pelicans head home with 2-0 edge on Blazers

Jrue Holiday scored 33 points and dished out nine assists as the New Orleans Pelicans downed the host Portland Trail Blazers 111-102 Tuesday night to seize a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Anthony Davis had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Rajon Rondo collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Pelicans, who return home for Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series.

CJ McCollum scored 22 points, Damian Lillard added 17 points and Al-Farouq Aminu totaled 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

The Pelicans jumped in front for good when Nikola Mirotic (17 points) hit a 3-pointer for a 102-100 lead with 2:44 remaining. Holiday sank a trey to make it 105-100 with 1:36 to play. When Rondo buried a corner 3-pointer, the Pelicans were in front 108-100 with 38.9 seconds left.

Lillard’s layup trimmed the difference to 108-102 with 38 seconds on the clock. Holiday made 1 of 2 free throws to up the lead to 109-102 with 25.4 ticks left, and the verdict was decided.

Portland led 59-54 at the half behind 12 points from Aminu and 11 apiece by McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. Holiday had 14 points and Davis 11 for New Orleans at intermission.

The Pelicans outscored the Blazers 25-9 to take a 79-68 advantage midway through the third quarter. Portland cut it to 81-78, but New Orleans carried an 87-78 lead into the final period.

Portland’s Pat Connaughton buried a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 93-89, and Lillard converted a four-point play to tie it at 93-93 with 7:31 remaining. Holiday knocked down a long jumper to push the Pelicans back on top 95-93 with 6:40 to go. Rondo’s driving layup made it 97-93 with 5:49 to play.

Moe Harkless’ follow dunk trimmed New Orleans’ lead to 97-95, and Aminu’s tip-in tied it at 97-97 with 3:43 left.

Holiday scored on a jump hook to give the Pelicans the lead back at 99-97, but Harkless knocked down a 3-pointer to pull the Blazers ahead 100-99. That was Portland’s last lead.

New Orleans jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes. The Pelicans settled for a 25-23 advantage after one quarter.

Portland started the second quarter 8-2 to take a 33-28 edge. New Orleans went ahead 42-40, but Aminu knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers and the Blazers went back on top 51-44. The lead expanded to 56-47 before the Pelicans whittled the margin to five at the break.

—Field Level Media

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