(WVUE) - The Pelicans dominated the Blazers from start-to-finish, taking a 3-0 series lead, with a commanding 119-102 victory.
Nikola Mirotic scored a career playoff-best 30 points. Mirotic racked up 14 points in the first quarter alone.
"I liked the energy that we started the game with and I loved the pace that we started the game with," said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "One of the things that we talked about is that the more pace we play with, then the more chances we'll have to get AD or Niko into space. They did a good job on AD early on, but I thought that also, when you're helping that much, that also freed up Niko and I thought Niko really got us off to a good start."
Anthony Davis had 28 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, and two blocks.
"We're very confident. We're very confident in every shot that we take, as a team. No matter who takes it, you know it's a shot you work on in practice or pregame. We feel comfortable with you taking shots. We're confident that shots are going in. Any time shots are going in, of course, it helps," said Anthony Davis.
Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo both contributed to the cause with 16 points apiece.
The dismantling of Portland took place in front of a sellout Smoothie King Center crowd of 18,551.
"It was great, but I witnessed this before when I was at Golden State and we played here in the first round of the (2015) playoffs. It was very similar, but I just thought tonight that there was so much energy in the crowd and they were so much into the game and I don't think they understand how much that helps. We want to have it that way every single game here, but it really, really helps when your crowd is into the game like that and that kind of energy is in the building. Hopefully we'll have the same thing on Saturday," said Gentry.
If the Pelicans beat the Blazers on Saturday, they can advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
"We're obviously just taking it a game at a time, but to be able to come out with that same energy, have the fans have that same support system and energy from them as well, to be able to come out and distract them. Man, it's fun. It's fun playing this game," said Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday.