Davis scores 35, Pelicans hold off Blazers in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. — Anthony Davis had 35 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 97-95 on Saturday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Jrue Holiday added 21 points, outplaying both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and had a big blocked shot in the closing seconds as New Orleans held on after Portland erased almost all of a 19-point deficit.
Rajon Rondo finished with 17 assists, eight rebounds and six points as New Orleans won the backcourt battle on top of Davis dominating the interior.
Lillard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while McCollum had 19 points.
The sixth-seeded Pelicans were the only road team to win on the opening day of the NBA playoffs. Nikola Mirotic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and also blocked four shots to help Davis earn the first victory of his playoff career.
It looked like it would come easily, as the Pelicans extended a nine-point halftime lead to 69-50 on Holiday’s dunk with 4:25 left in the third quarter. It still seemed safe when Davis threw down a thunderous alley-oop slam from Rondo with 6:09 to play, letting out a scream as Portland took an 86-72 lead.
Portland made a charge that cut it to 93-92 on McCollum’s 3-pointer just inside a minute left. Lillard missed in the lane with 15 seconds remaining with the Blazers still down one, and after Davis made two free throws, Holiday blocked Pat Connaughton’s layup with 6.3 seconds to go.