Warriors rout Pelicans for 3-1 series lead

(Reuters) Kevin Durant scored 38 points as the Golden State Warriors increased their series lead to 3-1 with a 118-92 victory over the home-standing New Orleans Pelicans yesterday afternoon in the Smoothie King Center.

The defending NBA champion Warriors can close out the Western Conference semifinal series when they host Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Stephen Curry added 23 points, Klay Thompson scored 13 and Quinn Cook came off the bench to score 12 for Golden State. Anthony Davis had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who were looking to even the series after a 119-100 victory Friday. E’Twaun Moore scored 20 and Jrue Holiday had 19.

Golden State shot 48.9 percent from the floor, including 33 percent on 3-pointers, and New Orleans shot 36.8 percent, including just 16 percent on 3-pointers.  The Warriors, who led by as many as 18 points in the first quarter before settling for a seven-point halftime lead, quickly rebuilt the margin to start the third quarter. Curry’s 3-pointer completed an opening 10-2 run that gave them a 71-56 lead barely two minutes into the second half.

The closest the Pelicans could get was 11 points before the Warriors built the lead to 23 and took a 94-73 advantage after three quarters.

The Warriors began the game with more intensity than they showed in Game 3 and it was evident on both ends of the court.

Golden State shot 60 percent and New Orleans shot 29 percent in the first quarter, which ended with the Warriors holding a 37-22 lead.

The Pelicans chipped away in the second quarter, thanks in large part to their ability to make 3-pointers and get to the foul line.

The Warriors made one more field goal than the Pelicans in the second quarter (11-10), but New Orleans made three 3-pointers and nine free throws and Golden State missed all six of its 3-pointers and made just two free throws.

The Pelicans got as close as four points before the Warriors took a 61-54 halftime lead behind Durant’s 20 points.

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