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Pelicans take Warriors to the wire before falling 121-116

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(WWL-TV) – After a Game 1 blowout, the Pelicans came to play and pushed Golden State to the limit before falling 121-116 and falling down 0-2 in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Game 3 is set for Friday night in the Smoothie King Center at 7 p.m.

The Pelicans used a staunch defense and an offense that revolved around getting shots in the paint, but had a few key, unforced turnovers at the end of the third and into the fourth quarter as the game hung in the balance.

After that it was too much Draymond Green, too much Kevin Durant and just enough Stephen Curry.

Durant had 29 points and hit three key baskets late in the fourth quarter as the Pelicans tried to cut into a double digit margin. Stephen Curry had 28 points in 27 minutes off the bench in his first game back after more than 5 weeks out with a sprained knee. Green had 20 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists.

The Pelicans big 4 all had big nights. Anthony Davis had 25 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 assists. Jrue Holiday had 24 points, Rajon Rondo had 22 points and 12 assists and Nikola Mirotic added 18 points.

But with almost no margin for error, the Pelicans had a few key unforced errors late – trailing only 81-80 late in the third, Rondo inexplicably bounced the ball off of his foot and out of bounds. Curry answered with a pair of free throws and then a three-point shot to make the margin six.

Then, right before the end of the third, with 14 seconds left, down 88-86 and with the ball, the Pelicans dribbled out the clock. Draymond Green hit two three-point shots to start the fourth to make the margin 8 at 94-86.

With six minutes and 45 seconds to go in the game and down three but with the ball, E’Twaun Moore lofted a lazy pass that was stolen by Andre Iguodala who went in for a layup and foul that pushed the margin to six at 104-98. Soon it was 110-98 as Durant scored 9 straight points for the Warriors.

“We had a couple of bad possessions, a couple of bad turnovers,” said head coach Alvin Gentry. “This isn’t a team you can turn the ball over against without paying a huge price.”

Those plays seemingly were no big deal in an otherwise Herculean effort, but against a team with four All-Stars, there is almost no margin for error.

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