Curry too hot for Pelicans, boosts Warriors to a win
Golden State’s Stephen Curry put in a matchwinning performance as the Warriors became the first team to reach the second round of the NBA playoffs by beating New Orleans 109-98 on Saturday, completing a 4-0 series sweep.
Memphis moved to the brink of also progressing to the last eight by defeating Portland and taking a 3-0 lead. Elsewhere, Milwaukee staved off elimination by beating Chicago and Brooklyn beat Atlanta to cut the series deficit to 2-1.
Golden State’s Curry had 39 points, eight rebounds and nine assists while Klay Thompson added 25 points for the Warriors, the NBA’s top overall seed, who will wait to host Game 1 of their second-round series against the winner of the Portland-Memphis matchup.
Draymond Green added 22 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State, which led 67-54 at halftime and widened the gap to as many as 24 points in the second half before the Pelicans briefly cut the deficit to single digits in the final minutes.
Anthony Davis had 36 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans and Eric Gordon had 29 points.
Golden State shot 50.6 percent from the field, including 13 of 24 from 3-point range. Curry was 6 of 8 from deep, while Thompson was 4 of 7 and Green 3 of 6.
Milwaukee avoided a sweep and stayed alive against Chicago by edging the Bulls 92-90.
With 1.3 seconds left, Jared Dudley threw a high-arcing pass toward the basket from side court. Jerryd Bayless caught the ball and quickly threw up the layup for the game-winning basket.
Bulls guard Derrick Rose walked away in frustration after trying to guard Bayless. The Bucks won their first playoff game in five years.
Chicago had a chance to win with the game tied 90-90. But Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton tipped a dribble away from Rose to force a steal. Bucks coach Jason Kidd called a timeout to set up the final play. Game 5 is Monday in Chicago. Jimmy Butler had a playoff career-high 33 points for the Bulls. Rose finished with 14 points, while Pau Gasol had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
O. J. Mayo finished with 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:42 left, for the Bucks while Dudley had 13 points and five assists and Bayless had 10 points.
Memphis won 115-109 at Port- land to move within one win of a berth in the last eight.
Marc Gasol had 25 points, Courtney Lee had 20 points and Mike Conley added 14 before leaving the game late in the third quarter with a facial injury. Memphis was already thin at point guard with reserve Beno Udrih sidelined with a sprained ankle. Game 4 is Monday at Portland. Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer got Portland as close as 94-91 with 2:23 left. But Tony Allen’s basket ended Portland’s 9-0 run and Randolph added free throws to close it out.
Batum f i nished with 27 points for the Blazers, who have dropped seven straight games, including the last four of the regular season, and C. J. McCollum added 26.
Zach Randolph had 16 points and the Grizzlies won their seventh straight against Portland.
Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Thaddeus Young added 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Nets beat Atlanta 91-83 to cut the Hawks’ series lead.
The Nets seized control with an 18-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters after the Hawks grabbed their first lead since the opening basket, then went on to beat the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed for the first time in seven meetings this season.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points for the eighth- seeded Nets, who can tie the series with another victory here Monday in Game 4.
DeMarre Carroll scored a playoff career-high 22 points for the Hawks, who were denied what would have been only their second 3-0 lead since moving to Atlanta in 1968. Paul Millsap added 18 points and 17 rebounds.
(Top) Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes #40 slam-dunks over New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon #10, forward Anthony Davis #23 and guard Jrue Holiday #11 during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA playoff series in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday, April 25. (Above) Milwaukee Bucks’ Jerryd Bayless #19 puts up the game-winning shot against Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose #1 during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff series in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday.