The Portland Trail Blazers will host the New Orleans Pelicans at Moda Center for Game 2 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs on Tuesday.
New Orleans (1-0) secured its first playoff victory since drafting superstar big man Anthony Davis in Game 1. Defense was the key to the narrow road win, as the team held Portland to just 38 percent shooting from the field. The game saw 10 lead changes and a margin of victory of only two points for the Pelicans, who snuck out of Moda Center with an early series lead. Davis was the indisputable leader for the Pelicans in the first game of the series, as he scored 35 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and blocked four shots. Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, who has made a reputation for himself with his strong postseason play, dished out a whopping 17 assists as well. All in all, it was a strong start to the series for the Pelicans, who overcame a season-ending Achilles injury to All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins this regular season and were still able to make it to the playoffs.
Portland (0-1) had trouble dealing with the tough New Orleans defense in Game 1. Damian Lillard shot just 6-of-23 while matching up with former All-Star Jrue Holiday, who seemingly had Lillard's number all night. The Trail Blazers also struggled with turnovers, allowing the Pelicans to score 23 points off of turnovers in the series opener. While a home loss was not the ideal way for the Blazers to open the series, the team was still able to cut the Pelicans' final lead to just two points. Portland was among the league's hottest teams after the All-Star Break and will hope to avoid squandering its highest playoff seeding in over a decade.
Posted on April 17, 2018 at 12:17 AM ET
Updated on April 17, 2018 at 1:20 AM ET