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Davis' 47 points leads Pelicans to sweep of Trail Blazers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Anthony Davis sat on the court, a scowl on his face and his biceps flexed on each side of his head.

The Pelicans All-Star had just converted a layup as he fell to the court after a hard foul. His strength-projecting celebration afterward was that of a franchise player determined to lay the foundation of his playoff legacy with a dominant performance in the clutch.

''In a close-out game and then the magnitude of the situation, this is probably the best game he's played since I've been here,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ''He just was not going to let us lose.''

Davis scored 33 of his franchise playoff-record 47 points in the second half - including 12 points in the final five minutes - and New Orleans completed a first-round playoff sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers with a 131-123 victory on Saturday night.

''It was fun,'' Davis said. ''It was an amazing feeling for me to go out and sweep these guys and play the way that I played.''

And when Davis wasn't devastating the Blazers, Jrue Holiday was giving Portland fits with explosive drives or pull-up jumpers. Holiday capped his 41-point night with an 18-footer that gave the Pelicans a six-point lead with 40 seconds left.

Rajon Rondo had 16 assists, and Davis also had 11 rebounds and three blocks for New Orleans, which is moving on to the second round of the playoffs for only the second time since the NBA returned to the city 16 seasons ago.

Rondo has said he came to New Orleans to play with what he viewed as the best ''Big Three'' in the NBA - Davis, Holiday and DeMarcus Cousins. Misfortune struck Cousins in late January, when he was lost for the season to a left Achilles tear. Davis and Holiday had to raise their games, and have come through beyond expectations.

Portland never gave up, trimming a 15-point second-half deficit to a single point on Al-Farouq Aminu's layup with 5:08 to go, but Davis responded with 12 points over the final 4:56, staring with a layup as he was fouled and a 3-pointer. Holiday scored six points during the final 2:52, starting with his 3-pointer. The pair combined for all but one of New Orleans' points during that pivotal stretch.

''You put the ball in these two guys' hands and they delivered for us,'' Rondo said. ''I couldn't ask for a better duo right now, especially at the time of the game where we needed to get the ball in the hole.''

C.J. McCollum scored 38 for the Trail Blazers, who responded to a blowout loss in Game 3 by keeping Game 4 close until the final minute. Aminu scored 27, Damian Lillard added 19 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

The sweep represented a quick, unceremonious and somewhat surprising end to a season that saw the Blazers climb to third in the Western Conference on the strength of a recent 13-game winning streak. But Portland seemed to cool off shortly before the regular season ended, and never regained peak form.

''It's not how we envisioned it happening for us, especially getting home court,'' Lillard said. ''We just weren't playing our best basketball like we had been during that stretch of 13 games. And then we come in here against a team that probably played their best stretch of basketball when they had to.''

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Played without 6-foot-9 forward Maurice Harkless. Coach Terry Stotts said Harkless, who'd started Game 3 when Turner was out, had a recurrence of knee soreness that had hampered him late this season. Stotts said that while Harkless was in too much pain to play, his knee did not appear to have structural damage. ... Became the first No. 3 seed to lose in the first round since Denver lost to Golden State in the 2013 playoffs. ... The Blazers fell to 6-7 in first round playoff series in which they had home-court advantage. ... McCollum was Portland's leading scorer during the series, averaging 25.3.

Pelicans: Nikola Mirotic had 10 points and 11 rebounds. ... Moore finished with 14 points. ... Captured the first playoff sweep in the franchise's 16-year history ... Committed 14 turnovers, with Holiday committing seven.

TALKING TOUGH

Leading up to Game 4, Lillard spoke of the need for the Blazers to ramp up their intensity and physicality. From the tip, it looked as though they'd done so.

In stark contrast to Game 3, when New Orleans led by 18 in the first quarter, this game was tight and testy.

Anthony and Ed Davis received double technical fouls after bumping one another following one of Anthony Davis' dunks - and that was just the beginning.

McCollum was called for a flagrant foul when he stormed into the lane behind E'Twaun Moore and grabbed the Pelicans guard by the shoulders to thwart a driving layup attempt. Moore then shoved McCollum and was assessed a technical foul.

And in the final seconds of the half, double technical were assessed to Rondo and Portland center Zach Collins after Rondo lowered his forehead into Collins' chest and Collins shoved back.

''I live for those moments,'' a grinning Rondo said. ''I was trying to stay smart as far as not getting thrown out. ... We knew what kind of game it was, especially when Dame came out with the comments he made.''

LILLARD'S LAMENT

Lillard, who never scored more than 20 in the series and was held below that three times, said he would have loved to shoot more, but the Pelicans' commitment to defend him early in possessions with multiple players made it difficult.

''They came in with a great defensive game plan, threw something at us that we hadn't seen and it worked out for them,'' Lillard said.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Begin the offseason.

Pelicans: Prepare for a second-round series for the first time since 2008.

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Key Players
D. Lillard
0 PG
A. Davis
23 PF
36.4 Min. Per Game 36.4
28.1 Pts. Per Game 28.1
2.3 Ast. Per Game 2.3
11.1 Reb. Per Game 11.1
43.9 Field Goal % 53.5
43.8 Three Point % 53.3
91.5 Free Throw % 82.9
  Defensive rebound by Nikola Mirotic 0:09
  CJ McCollum missed driving layup 0:13
+ 1 Anthony Davis made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:20
+ 1 Anthony Davis made 1st of 2 free throws 0:20
  Personal foul on CJ McCollum 0:20
  Defensive rebound by Nikola Mirotic 0:25
  Al-Farouq Aminu missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Anthony Davis 0:30
+ 2 Jrue Holiday made jump shot 0:40
+ 2 CJ McCollum made driving layup 1:00
+ 1 Jrue Holiday made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:09
  Jrue Holiday missed 1st of 2 free throws 1:09
Team Stats
Points 123 131
Field Goals 50-95 (52.6%) 45-79 (57.0%)
3-Pointers 10-27 (37.0%) 9-25 (36.0%)
Free Throws 13-16 (81.3%) 32-39 (82.1%)
Total Rebounds 37 52
Offensive 6 8
Defensive 27 36
Team 4 8
Assists 20 28
Steals 8 5
Blocks 2 6
Turnovers 6 14
Fouls 29 21
Technicals 2 3
38 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST
47 PTS, 11 REB, 1 AST
1234T
away team logo Trail Blazers 0-4 25313136123
home team logo Pelicans 4-0 26324231131
Team Stats
away team logo Trail Blazers 0-4 105.5 PPG 43.5 RPG 19.0 APG
home team logo Pelicans 4-0 110.0 PPG 45.6 RPG 26.9 APG
Key Players
C. McCollum SG 21.4 PPG 4.0 RPG 3.4 APG 44.3 FG%
A. Davis PF 28.1 PPG 11.1 RPG 2.3 APG 53.4 FG%
Top Scorers
C. McCollum SG 38 PTS 2 REB 3 AST
A. Davis PF 47 PTS 11 REB 1 AST
52.6 FG% 57.0
37.0 3PT FG% 36.0
81.3 FT% 82.1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. McCollum 45 38 2 3 0 0 2 5 15/22 2/3 6/7 0 2 44 -9
A. Aminu 34 27 6 1 2 0 0 4 11/20 5/11 0/0 1 5 37 0
D. Lillard 45 19 5 6 2 0 1 3 7/16 1/5 4/5 0 5 37 -7
J. Nurkic 33 18 11 2 3 2 0 6 9/13 0/0 0/0 5 6 38 +2
E. Turner 36 15 1 5 0 0 2 4 6/12 1/3 2/2 0 1 24 +2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
C. McCollum 45 38 2 3 0 0 2 5 15/22 2/3 6/7 0 2 44 -9
A. Aminu 34 27 6 1 2 0 0 4 11/20 5/11 0/0 1 5 37 0
D. Lillard 45 19 5 6 2 0 1 3 7/16 1/5 4/5 0 5 37 -7
J. Nurkic 33 18 11 2 3 2 0 6 9/13 0/0 0/0 5 6 38 +2
E. Turner 36 15 1 5 0 0 2 4 6/12 1/3 2/2 0 1 24 +2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
W. Baldwin IV 8 3 2 0 0 0 1 1 1/3 1/1 0/0 0 2 4 +1
Z. Collins 14 2 1 3 1 0 0 2 1/6 0/2 0/0 0 1 10 -8
E. Davis 13 1 5 0 0 0 0 2 0/1 0/0 1/2 0 5 6 -8
P. Connaughton 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 -13
M. Harkless - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Leonard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Layman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Napier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wilcox - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Swanigan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Papagiannis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 237 123 33 20 8 2 6 29 50/95 10/27 13/16 6 27 200 -40
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Davis 38 47 11 1 0 3 2 4 15/24 2/4 15/17 5 6 61 +15
J. Holiday 40 41 3 8 0 0 7 1 15/23 2/7 9/12 1 2 53 +3
E. Moore 34 14 3 1 3 0 1 3 5/10 1/3 3/3 0 3 21 +7
N. Mirotic 40 10 11 1 2 3 1 3 4/8 1/3 1/2 0 11 27 +8
R. Rondo 34 7 7 16 0 0 2 2 3/7 0/1 1/1 0 7 44 +12
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Davis 38 47 11 1 0 3 2 4 15/24 2/4 15/17 5 6 61 +15
J. Holiday 40 41 3 8 0 0 7 1 15/23 2/7 9/12 1 2 53 +3
E. Moore 34 14 3 1 3 0 1 3 5/10 1/3 3/3 0 3 21 +7
N. Mirotic 40 10 11 1 2 3 1 3 4/8 1/3 1/2 0 11 27 +8
R. Rondo 34 7 7 16 0 0 2 2 3/7 0/1 1/1 0 7 44 +12
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Hill 16 6 4 1 0 0 1 3 1/2 1/2 3/4 1 3 11 -7
D. Miller 22 3 4 0 0 0 0 1 1/2 1/2 0/0 1 3 7 +3
I. Clark 10 3 1 0 0 0 0 4 1/3 1/3 0/0 0 1 4 -1
A. Ajinca - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Liggins - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Cousins - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Crawford - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Cooke - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Drew - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Diallo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Okafor - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 131 44 28 5 6 14 21 45/79 9/25 32/39 8 36 228 +40