It's a must-win-win-win-win for Blazers
The Trail Blazers are down to one final attempt at beating New Orleans in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
Portland wasn't up to the task — not even close to it — in a 119-102 dismantlement by the Pelicans Thursday night at Smoothie King Center.
Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis led the way as New Orleans dominated from start to finish to seize a 3-0 lead series lead. The Pelicans can complete a sweep with a victory at 2 p.m. PT Saturday.
Mirotic scored 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Davis collected 28 points and 11 boards for New Orleans. Rajon Rondo chipped in 16 points and 11 assists for the Pelicans, who led by 33 points with seven minutes to play.
CJ McCollum scored 22 points, Al-Farouq Aminu 21 and Damian Lillard 20 for the Trail Blazers, who had 24 turnovers and were never within single figures of the Pelicans after the first quarter.
McCollum shot well, hitting 9 of 16 from the field, but Lillard continued his struggles in the series. The All-Star point guard made only 5 of 14 shots and had two assists and eight turnovers in 35 minutes.
New Orleans led 36-20 after one quarter and 64-45 at halftime. The Pelicans shot superbly in the game — .529 from the field, .407 from 3-point range, .864 from the free-throw line.
The Pelicans led 112-79, shortly after Portland coach Terry Stotts unloaded his bench. The Blazer reserves outscored their New Orleans counterparts 23-7 the rest of the way, with Meyers Leonard contributing eight points on 4-for-4 shooting to go with four rebounds in eight minutes.