Holiday helps Pelicans take 2-0 lead on Trail Blazers

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With New Orleans winning 111-102 Tuesday night, the Pelicans take a commanding lead back to their homecourt.

If you've listened to Alvin Gentry after any of the Pelicans past three games, you'd have no idea that his team won all three of those games. Mirotic scored a career-playoff high 30 last night against the Blazers. "I was just trying to play simple".

His teammates won't take any chances either. New Orleans seems like a team that is clicking just at the right time.

"New Orleans played extremely well", Stotts said.

"It's a combination of us as students watching the games and learning from our coaches while also giving the coaches a lot of credit for prepping us", Rajon Rondo said.

Series tied 1-1. Game 3, 7 p.m., TNT. Holiday is executing a scary two-man game with Davis, hitting nail-in-the-coffin jumpers and averaging 27 points and 5.5 assists.

Ginobili and fellow veteran Tony Parker said it was tough to play basketball following Erin's passing, but the team's goal was to compete and play with the grit Popovich has always demanded of them. "We know we can do better than what we did, but I'm not going to feel embarrassed or I'm not going to go compete less if I admit they are a better team". He's second in attempts at 23, trailing only Damian Lillard (25).

Portland opened the third quarter with five consecutive points to draw within 14, but the Pelicans answered with an 11-0 run to push the difference to 75-50.

"They're making me give the ball up", Lillard said, according to ESPN.

I still think we'll see diminishing returns on Rondo's style of play.

As for the Pelicans, their big four of Davis, Mirotic, Holiday, and Rondo has played spectacularly over the first two games.

CJ McCollum scored 22 to lead the Blazers, but as a team, Portland committed 24 turnovers. New Orleans is now up 3-0. With Evan Turner questionable for Game 3 with a toe injury, Harkless will be even more important. The Blazers racked up 12 turnovers by halftime, all while rattling 3-pointers off the back iron. Portland rushed its offense in the face of unlikely success by the Pelicans, who continued to rain down from deep. The Bucks finished with 15, leading to 21 Boston points.

New Orleans shot superbly - 52.9 percent from the field, 40.7 percent from 3-point range, 84.2 percent from the free-throw line. The big man scored 29.8 points per 36 when he appeared next to Clark and 26.7 points per 36 when the guard was not on the court.

The Pelicans wore alternate red uniforms and every fan was given a matching T-shirt, turning the entire packed seating area into a sea of red.

Mirroring their Game 1 loss, the Blazers clawed back from a double-digit deficit and had ample opportunities to seize momentum in the fourth quarter before seeing the game slip away in the final minute.

The first two contests were hard-fought battles-but this one was over early.

If Game 2 was a must-win situation for the Portland Trail Blazers, Game 3 on the road was either the rock foundation they'd build their comeback on, or the boulder they'd roll in front of their tomb. Mirotic has 2.3 blocks per game this series, seven total (second only to Anthony Davis' eight this postseason), with four of them coming in Game 1.

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