NBA Western Conference playoff recap: Pelicans shock with sweep

Johnny Resendiz

Sports Blogger

@theozoneonline

 

Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Despite losing Saturday, the Houston Rockets hold a 2-1 series lead against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Rockets started the series with a close 104-101 victory against the T-wolves on Sunday. James Harden led the way with an incredible 44 points and eight assists. Clint N’Dumba-Capela also contributed with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Houston continued its success with a convincing 102-82 Game 2 victory. Three of the five starters racked up double-digit points. This past Saturday was a different story. The T-wolves capitalized on their home-court advantage and gained a 121-105 victory in Game 3. A resurgent Jimmy Butler led the team with 28 points. Former MVP Derrick Rose also showed flashes of his former self. Rose, a veteran guard, scored 17 points while recording 21 playing minutes. The T-wolves are set to face the top-seeded Rockets for Game 4 on Wednesday.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz hold a 2-1 series lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite Donovan Mitchell’s 27-point performance, Game 1 belonged to Paul George and the home team. George racked up an impressive 36 points and seven rebounds in a 116-108 victory. The Jazz took Game 2 after Mitchell and Ricky Rubio stacked a combined 50 points in a 102-95 victory against the Thunder. The regular season’s inconsistencies seemed to come back and haunt the Thunder. The Jazz capitalized on the Thunder’s fourth-quarter struggles with a 115-102 victory Saturday. Donovan Mitchell once again showed his brilliance with his 22-point, 11-rebound performance. The Jazz will play the Thunder again at home Tuesday. With another loss, the Thunder would fall into a deficit that George, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook might not get them out of.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Keith Davis/Flickr

Upsets tend to happen in the NBA playoffs, but an upset sweep against  the three seed is unusual. The Pelicans proved to the entire world they are the real deal with a sweep against the Portland Trail Blazers to advance to the next round. At least one Pelicans player recorded 30 or more points in each of the four games. The nail to the coffin was point guard Jrue Holiday’s and NBA All-Star Anthony Davis’ NBA record-tying performance. They scored a combined 88 points in Game 4. The Pelicans will look forward to the winner of the Warriors vs. Spurs matchup. New Orleans showed it knows how to score against other teams. The Pelicans have an offensive rating of 114.7. With the Warriors looking to wrap things up against San Antonio, it seems like they will face a much hungrier Pelicans team.

Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs

Life without Steph Curry seems OK for the Golden State Warriors. The team holds a commanding 3-1 lead against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs aren’t without some major pieces, though. Head coach Gregg Popovich has taken a leave of absence after his wife’s death. In addition, All-Star Kawhi Leonard continues to dodge the court. The Warriors will look to finish off the Spurs on Tuesday night in San Antonio.

ozone@ocolly.com

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