The Smoothie King Center certainly will be rocking Saturday night when Bruno Mars takes the stage for his concert.

Friday night's opening act - the Pelicans' home opener against the Golden State Warriors - had the arena rocking too.

In fact, the crowd was raucous much longer than many people expected as the Pelicans stood toe-to-toe with the reigning NBA champions.  

The Pelicans fell 128-120 to the Warriors, but gave a valiant effort that would have been enough for a W if they had played the same way two nights earlier in the season opening loss at the Memphis Grizzlies.

Shirts with the words "Do It Big" were awaiting fans as they arrived to get their first look at the Pelicans this season.

"Do It big" is what the  Pelicans - led by twin towers Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins - are hoping to do this season.

And for a while, it looked like the Pels  just might as they jumped out early on the team that most think will win a second straight NBA title and a third one in four years.

Many of the fans were there to see the Warriors, the NBA's version of Bruno Mars, packing arenas wherever they go.

But there were also the Pelicans' fans there to get their first live look at this year's Pelicans, wanting to see if it was a team that could make a push for the playoffs in the rugged Western  Conference.

The Pelicans last playoff trip came during the 2014-'15 season, a first round loss to these same Golden State Warriors.

Steph Curry, a 2-time league MVP,  still remembers that series all too well. He buried a 3-pointer from the corner that forced overtime in Game 3 and the Warriors went on to sweep. 

"It was a cool moment," Curry said, reflecting on the shot before the game. "My pops (former NBA star Dell Curry)  and my brother were here. It's like my favorite snapshot, because of their reaction and the crowd.  Pops never shows emotion in the game so that shot got a little out of him. It was just a fun  family experience. That was a  cool shot to hit in that moment after that crazy comeback in the fourth quarter."

 The Pelicans are still recovering, following that playoff loss with back-to-back .500 seasons, filled with injuries.

Fans are hoping this year will be different, although the injuries have already started to mount.

Five players are already injured and expected to be out at least a month.

But that didn't stop the Pelicans on this home opening night that began with DeMarcus Cousins receiving his award for being the  winner of the NBA's Community Assist Award for his off the court work during the offseason.

After that, Cousins and Anthony Davis did their work on the court. And unlike in the season opener, they got some help from the bench.

But it still wasn't enough to slay the might Warriors.

It rarely is for the Pelicans, who have now lost to the Warriors 18 of their last 19 times.

Curry delivered the dagger again, stretching the lead to 124-116 with a trey, this time in the opposite corner from where he shot it in the 2015 playoffs.  

Alvin Gentry, in his third season, will have to wait another day for his 400th career victory.

"Being able to go out there and compete at a high level like that was fun," Cousins said. "We took a couple steps forward. I am happy with our effort and happy with the way we competed. We just have to continue to grow from here. I think we're in a good place."

You can't blame Cousins and the Pelicans for feeling that way after this one. 

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.