Anthony Davis stole the show and the New Orleans Pelicans stole home-court advantage from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Davis had 35 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo won the backcourt battle, and the Pelicans held on for a 97-95 victory on Saturday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series.
Holiday added 21 points, outplaying both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and had a big blocked shot in the closing seconds as New Orleans escaped after Portland erased almost all of a 19-point deficit.
He’s in a different mindset, Davis said. He was up all night watching film. When they were calling plays out there he was telling us what it was in our version before they had a chance to run it. He’s definitely locked in. The way he played tonight with 17 assists, he’s just in a different mode for the playoffs.
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Lillard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while McCollum had 19 points.
The sixth-seeded Pelicans were the only road team to win on the opening day of the NBA playoffs. Nikola Mirotic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and also blocked four shots to help Davis earn the first victory of his playoff career.
Van Gundy coached the Knicks for parts of seven seasons, leading the club to six consecutive playoff appearances and an Eastern Conference title in 1999. New York has won one playoff series since Van Gundy’s departure in 2001.
The Knicks are searching for a coach to replace Jeff Hornacek, who was fired Thursday morning.
The club earlier this week was finalizing plans to meet with their four top candidates: David Fizdale, Mark Jackson, Jerry Stackhouse and former Cleveland Cavaliers Authentic Mike Tolbert Jersey coach David Blatt, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Jackson will interview with the team Wednesday, sources said. The Knicks plan to meet with Fizdale and Stackhouse this week and with Blatt, who is expected to travel to the United States, the following week.
RHP J.J. Hoover, who was designated for assignment by the Brewers on April 11, has elected free agency…. The Reds traded minor league C Tony Sanchez to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named or cash.