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Warriors vs. Pelicans Game 4 preview: Can Golden State Close the Series Out on the Road?

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With the Warriors holding a 3-0 series lead, they can sweep the Pelicans tonight in New Orleans.

Tonight, the Warriors are going for the sweep.
Tonight, the Warriors are going for the sweep.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans

Warriors lead series 3-0

Smoothie King Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tip-Off: 5:00 PM PST

TV: ESPN (national), CSN Bay Area (local) // Radio: KNBR 1050

Blog Buddy: The Bird Writes

A sense of the moment. That is what a team needs to succeed during a game, a regular season, and most importantly the playoffs. This Warriors team has it.

All season, Golden State has dominated when there have been high-profile matchups against the other elite teams. In the regular season they crushed the Clippers, Spurs, Thunder (when Kevin Durant was still playing), Hawks, Cavaliers, Bulls in Chicago, Grizzlies in Memphis, and Toronto when the Raptors were the East's top seed for a spell. The team has consistently risen to challenges, as a 16-game winning streak and 39-2 record at home can attest to.

And evidently, this team has a sense of the moment when it comes to the playoffs.

In Game 3, the Warriors completed the best comeback in franchise history, overcoming a 20-point deficit to start the fourth quarter and a 17-point deficit with six minutes left to stun the Pelicans. Stephen Curry's miracle shot (which he was fouled on) tied the game, because, well, that is what MVPs do. They rise to the challenge and are not afraid to take and make the big shots.

The Warriors have Stephen Curry. The Pelicans do not. The Warriors have momentum, a better overall team, better coaching, a brilliant defense. Most importantly, the Warriors have a sense of the moment and the Pelicans do not.

The reason the Warriors will sweep tonight is because the only game the Warriors were plausibly losing, in my mind, would have been Game 3. It was all set up to happen that way: New Orleans came out energized, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis were on fire, the Pelicans were in front of a raucous crowd, and Golden State wasn't hitting any shots. Yet Golden State didn't throw in the towel. They roared back to tie the game and then win it in overtime. The Pelicans are just getting a taste of playoff action; they are already massively overmatched as it is, and now to think of coming back from that heartbreaking defeat? No chance. Golden State is slamming the door on the Pelicans' season tonight.

Predictions!

  • Stephen Curry puts up a dazzling 25 points and 13 assists.
  • Anthony Davis scores 28 and grabs 14 rebounds, but is a net minus.
  • After the debacle over Curry's shot, New Orleans is whistled for more fouls than Golden State.
  • Warriors run away with the game starting in the second quarter, and New Orleans just can't rally back.
  • Golden State outscores the Pelicans by 25 in the second and third quarters combined.
  • Warriors 117, Pelicans 99. Golden State moves on to the second round!