Kevin Durant, Warriors Beat Anthony Davis, Pelicans in Game 1; Stephen Curry Out

Kevin Durant, Warriors Beat Anthony Davis, Pelicans in Game 1; Stephen Curry Out

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans picked the Portland Trail Blazers apart during a four-game first-round sweep, but Saturday they were reminded that the Golden State Warriors are an entirely different entity. 

Even without Stephen Curry, who is nearing a return from a sprained MCL, the defending champions ran roughshod over the Pelicans for a vintage 123-101 Game 1 Western Conference semifinal win at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. 

Kevin Durant (26 points) and Klay Thompson (27 points) headlined the proceedings, while Draymond Green served as the two-way engine who fueled the blowout. 

In 30 minutes, Green produced one of the most unique lines in recent postseason history with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals and two blocks.

According to Basketball Reference, Green joined Clyde Drexler, Penny Hardaway, Johnny Moore, Magic Johnson and Scottie Pippen as the only players to ever rack up a triple-double with at least three steals and two blocks in a playoff game. 

Green also set the tone for the Warriors in the second quarter, when they outscored the Pelicans 41-21 to take a 21-point lead into halftime, much to the delight of Beyonce and Jay Z: 

The night was hardly as pleasant for Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. 

While Davis burned the Warriors for 33 points a contest over a trio of regular-season meetings, he didn’t find similar success in Game 1.

Golden State rolled out a cunning defensive strategy from the jump that allowed Green to rove off the always reluctant-to-shoot Rajon Rondo, and the result was a crush of bodies around Davis whenever he wanted to create off the catch. 

And with Warriors defenders buzzing about, buckets proved hard to come by.

In three quarters—the Pelicans benched their starters in garbage timeDavis managed an inefficient 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting, including 2-of-12 on all shots outside of the restricted area. 

As if that weren’t bad e

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