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What were some of the determining factors in the series?

While Pelicans players declined to flatly state they preferred playing Portland, the Blazers were the only team amongst the West's top four who didn't take the season series from New Orleans (they split 2-2).

Let's take a look at a few, shall we?

FiveThirtyEight doesn't have much to say about the Blazers, but it's worth noting their CARM-ELO model gives Portland a 3 percent chance to win the National Basketball Association championship, up from a 1% chance in the preseason.

In Portland's 103-93 home victory against New Orleans on October 24, the Blazers shot 34.5 percent from three to the Pelicans' 30 percent.

Davis is arguably coming off the best regular season of his career, as he averaged 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, a league-best 2.6 blocks, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 75 games. "There is no pressure on us, so we've just got go play and be better and just be locked in".

The Blazers won the season's first meeting with New Orleans, 103-93, back in October. CJ McCollum (1/6) didn't shoot much better from distance.

All five Pelicans starters scored in double figures and three of them had double-doubles.

Pelicans: Prepare for a playoff matchup against Portland. The Blazers shot just 11/35 (31.4 percent) in that loss.




Thursday: at New Orleans, 6 p.m. New Orleans has been on a roll and this has a feeling of a game that could get out of hand early, especially if the Spurs don't put a lot of stock into their seed for the playoffs. Rajon Rondo played a key role in Saturday's win.

Outrebounding an opponent is not necessarily a guarantee of success. They nearly erased a 19 point deficit and even had a chance to take the lead in the final minute.

Davis grabbed the rebound and was fouled, and then essentially iced the game with two free throws.

The victor of San Antonio's visit to New Orleans and Denver's visit to Minnesota will determine Golden State's first-round opponent.

As for the Pelicans, they were dragged kicking and screaming into this postseason by Anthony Davis, who had an MVP-caliber season. As for New Orleans, they go where Anthony Davis goes, but Anthony Davis can go pretty far on his own. In the Blazers' win on March 27, Davis scored 36 points - but by that point, he was without Cousins.

Davis stepped up in Cousins' absence, averaging 30.4 points and 11.8 rebounds.

The ESPN Forecast gives Portland a 65% chance to defeat the Pelicans in the first round, with series likely being decided in 6 games. That's because Davis is a premier talent. With Stephen Curry's knee injury expected to keep him out until at least the second round, the defending champs aren't the perceived lock that they once were to reach the Western Conference semifinals.

Rondo set up all three of Davis' dunks — including a soaring roundhouse jam on a cut to the basket in the first half and a reverse alley-oop in the fourth quarter that drove the crowd wild with delight.


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