PORTLAND — Any thought that the Pelicans would be content with winning just one game in their trip to Portland was dismissed as soon as the team left the court and headed to the locker room after Saturday's 97-95 victory.
PORTLAND — With 4.9 seconds left Saturday night, the loud-all-game Moda Center all of a sudden went quiet and the normally quiet Jrue Holiday …
"Let's not come back," Jrue Holiday said.
If Holiday and his teammates have their way, they would like to win Game 2 on Tuesday night at the Moda Center, then finish off the Trail Blazers with a sweep by winning on Thursday and Saturday at the Smoothie King Center.
So no, just winning the first game wasn't enough.
"We want to come in and be greedy," said Anthony Davis. "We know they are going to come out guns blazing at home, but we want to be greedy."
New Orleans is hoping to reach the second round of the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers returned to the practice court Sunday morning, the night after they opened the playoffs on the wro…
A win Tuesday, and the 2-0 lead that comes with it, would bode well historically.
Of 290 teams that have won the first two games of a best-of-seven series, 272 have won the series.
Since 2009, only five teams have led 2-0 and lost.
Winning the first two on the road would be even more impressive, although it doesn't guarantee success. Last season, the Boston Celtics lost the first two games at homes to Chicago but rallied to win the series.
Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo was on that Bulls team, and the seasoned veteran knows the importance of not putting too much stock into just winning the first game. He's preached to the team the importance of staying even-keel during the playoffs and not getting too high after a win or too low after a loss.
PORTLAND — Jrue Holiday was the No. 1 trending topic nationwide on Twitter late Saturday night.
"We want to keep all the pressure on them," Rondo said. "We want to come out with the right mindset and focus on withstanding their first punch, their first couple punches, and find a way to get the win."
Alvin Gentry has stressed reducing turnovers in the second game and rebounding better. He also hopes to see his team do another stellar job defending Portland's potent backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The duo combined for just three points on 1-of-15 shooting in the first half Saturday. They finished with 37 points on 13-of-41 shooting, but their late efforts weren't enough to come back against a resilient Pelicans team that made several key defensive stops down the stretch.
Still, as Gentry has so often reminded his team, that was just one game.
"We haven't accomplished anything," Gentry said. "We won one game in a series that you have to win four. Somewhere along the line we have to win three more games against a team that is a really good basketball team. Dame (Lillard) you can best believe is going to come out swinging. He and C.J. So we still have a ton of work to do and a level we have to play at to be successful."
That message has been made loud and clear to the Pelicans, from the starters to the reserves. A team that has won six consecutive games is looking to make it seven.
Make it three straight for Playoff Rondo.
"Everybody in the locker room knows we haven't done anything yet," said guard Ian Clark. "It's going to be a lot of adjustments on both ends. Obviously they are going to come out and try to be a lot more aggressive, especially on the offensive end, to try to pick apart our defensive schemes. For us, it's about trying to get better and learning from Game 1. Offensive rebounding is a big part of that, and making sure we don't let those two guards get hot."
Saying you're not satisfied with just one win is one thing.
Playing like you're not satisfied with just one is another.
Or is it?
"It's not hard," Rondo said. "We are a hungry team. A lot of us haven't been past the first round. The only way to do that is to stay focused and locked in and try to get Game 2."
While rain fell on New Orleans for the 10th consecutive hour, sealing Saturday’s distinction as the dreariest day of 2018, bars across the cit…