Spurs vs. Pelicans recap, reactions: Sliding down the playoff ladder

Portland will play New Orleans in the first round of the NBA playoffs regardless of Wednesday's outcome against Utah

Portland will play New Orleans in the first round of the NBA playoffs regardless of Wednesday's outcome against Utah

The NBA playoff matchups are all set and the Portland Trail Blazers are the third seed in the Western Conference and will have home-court advantage in the first round against the New Orleans Pelicans.

"We got in and now it is time to fine-tune things and try to get better", Aldridge said.

The sixth-seeded Pelicans were the only road team to win on the opening day of the National Basketball Association playoffs. "But they have Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Rondo, E'Twaun Moore, they've got a lot of guys that make them a unsafe team". But two months later the Pelicans beat the Blazers 123-116 in Portland without Davis. New Orleans' 48 victories is the third most in franchise history, which officially dates back to the NBA's return to the city in 2002-03. Instead, New Orleans rallied, going 21-13 the rest of the way and ending the season on a five-game winning streak. "We were trying to figure out how we wanted to play, and then we figured it out and were able to push through it".

Nurkic can afford to let Davis get 25-27 points, but he needs to make him work for them and must stay out of foul trouble because the Blazers are low on frontcourt depth. He initially joined the squad as a sixth man and was inconsistent. Facing extra defensive attention in the pick-and-roll, Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum shot a combined 1-of-15 from the field in the first half. "On the road we've been really, really good at just locking in and giving ourselves an opportunity to come up with wins".

Nikola Mirotic #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans dunks against the San Antonio Spurs on April 11, 2018 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

HIGH MILEAGE: CJ McCollum topped the National Basketball Association for the most miles on the court this season with 218. It still seemed safe when Davis threw down a thunderous alley-oop slam from Rondo with 6:09 to play, letting out a scream as Portland took an 86-72 lead.

The chemistry between Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo continue blossoming to spectacular effect, infusing the New Orleans Pelicans with confidence as they head into the playoffs on a resounding five-game winning streak.

Portland has home court advantage in the series, but New Orleans owns the fifth-best road record in the National Basketball Association at 24-17.

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