Saturday's roundup: Warriors complete sweep

Associated Press

New Orleans — Stephen Curry wasn't about to say that shooting over Anthony Davis was easy.

The Warriors' prolific scorer was just crafty enough to make it look that way sometimes.

Equally devastating from long range and on drives to the hoop, Curry scored 39 points, and the Golden State Warriors took a 109-98 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, completing a sweep of their first-round playoff series.

"I knew he was crafty, I mean, a great shooter," Davis said of Curry, who averaged 33.8 points in the series. "There's nothing you can do. You try to pressure him and run him off the (3-point) line and he'll hit incredible shots in the lane. You back off so he won't drive, he's going to hit a 3. So you've got to pick your poison and he's a tough player to guard. That's why he's (a candidate) for MVP."

Klay Thompson added 25 points for the Warriors, the NBA's top overall seed, who will wait to host Game 1 of their second-round series against the winner of the Portland-Memphis matchup.

"I'm proud of the way we played, the way we competed," Curry said. "Four in a row is a good feeling. We're going to rest up."

Draymond Green added 22 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State, which raced to a 67-54 halftime lead and widened the gap to as many as 24 points in the second half before the desperate Pelicans briefly cut their deficit to single digits in the final minutes.

Curry had eight rebounds and nine assists in Game 4.

"What we've been through playing against Steph sometimes, it's not fair," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "Steph is like, he's on a different level — some of the shots he makes, his command of the ball, his ability to finish. The moment doesn't bother him.

"He is in the elite of the elite right now, and he's after something and you can tell by the way he's playing."

Davis had 36 points and 11 rebounds to close out what has been a remarkable third season for the Pelicans' 22-year-old franchise player. He just didn't have quite enough help on either end of the court.

The 6-foot-10 Davis is one of few big men quick and agile enough to guard the NBA's top perimeter players, and he usually has a height advantage about as significant as the 7 inches he had on Curry.

"We had a couple sets that we tried to get him away from the basket so that we could attack the paint," Curry said. "Tonight a couple times I just tried to go 1-on-1 and get some space. He's very long, obviously, and can contest a lot of shots, but I found a little bit of daylight."

Eric Gordon had 29 points and Ryan Anderson added 10 for the Pelicans, but they needed more than that as Golden State shot 50.6 percent, including 13 of 24 from 3-point range.

Curry was 6 of 8 from deep, while Thompson was 4 of 7 and Green 3 of 6.

"The first three games all came down to the wire and then I thought tonight was our best effort of the series," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "I'm very pleased with the effort and I'm very pleased I don't have to see Anthony Davis until November at the earliest."

The Pelicans said they had no intention of giving up, no matter how bleak their series deficit looked. They looked competitive early on, shooting 50 percent in the first half, but Golden State's accurate perimeter shooting made effective defense a difficult proposition.

Then, needing a strong third quarter, the Pelicans instead struggled offensively, hitting only five of 18 shots.

The Warriors led 87-63 on Harrison Barnes' dunk late in the third quarter, and the lead was 21 entering the fourth.

(At) Milwaukee 92, Chicago 90: Jerryd Bayless made a layup at the buzzer off an inbounds pass to draw Milwaukee within 3-1 in the Eastern Conference series. With 1.3 seconds left, Jared Dudley threw a high-arcing pass toward the basket from side court. Bayless caught the ball and quickly threw up the layup for the winning basket.

Bulls guard Derrick Rose walked away in frustration after trying to guard Bayless. The Bucks won their first playoff game in five years.

Chicago had a chance to win with the game tied at 90. But Milwaukee's Khris Middleton tipped a dribble away from Rose to force a steal. Bucks coach Jason Kidd called a timeout to set up the final play.

Game 5 is Monday in Chicago.

Jimmy Butler had a playoff career-high 33 points for the Bulls. Rose finished with 14 points, while Pau Gasol had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

O.J. Mayo finished with 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:42 left, while Dudley had 13 points and five assists while Bayless had 10 points.

(At) Brooklyn 91, Atlanta 83: Brook Lopez had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Thaddeus Young added 18 points and 11 rebounds as Brooklyn cut Atlanta's lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference series.

The Nets seized control with an 18-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters after the Hawks grabbed their first lead since the opening basket, then went on to beat the No. 1 seed for the first time in seven meetings this season.

Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points for the eighth-seeded Nets, who can tie the series with another victory here Monday night in Game 4.

DeMarre Carroll scored a playoff career-high 22 points for the Hawks, who were denied what would have been their second 3-0 lead since moving to Atlanta in 1968. Paul Millsap added 18 points and 17 rebounds.

Memphis 115, (at) Portland 109: Marc Gasol had 25 points and the Grizzlies took a 3-0 lead in the series by withstanding a late Portland rally. Courtney Lee had 20 points and Mike Conley added 14 before leaving the game late in the third quarter with a facial injury. Memphis was already thin at point guard with reserve Beno Udrih sidelined with a sprained right ankle.

The Grizzlies led by as many as 14 points but Portland closed within 90-82 with 7:28 left after three free throws from Nicolas Batum. Gasol responded with two jumpers to end the threat.

Batum finished with 27 points for the Blazers, who have dropped seven straight, including four to wrap up the regular season. CJ McCollum added 26.

Zach Randolph added 16 points and the Grizzlies won their seventh straight against Portland, including a sweep of the four-game regular season series.