Damian Lillard after Trail Blazers drop Game 1 to New Orleans Pelicans

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It all depends on how Davis and Lillard impact the series, but also the defense (for Portland) and 3-point shooting (for New Orleans) - in addition to other factors.

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 nearly all of a 19-point deficit.

The Blazers won the season's first meeting with New Orleans, 103-93, back in October.

The postseason victory is the first for the Pelicans franchise since April 24, 2011, when Chris Paul led the New Orleans Hornets past the L.A. Lakers. He got plenty of help from his teammates; Anthony Davis had another monster outing with 35 points, 14 rebounds, two steals, and four blocks.

Davis stepped up in Cousins' absence, averaging 30.4 points and 11.8 rebounds.

GUESSING THE BEARD ISN'T COMING BACK: The Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotic in a trade after Cousins went out. He has scored at least 25 points in all five of his career playoff games.

In the video above, Lillard discusses the Blazers struggles in Game 1. They are allowing an average of 110.4 points, placing them 29th overall. "We can't let tonight's loss go into the next game and we've got to tighten up, come back sharper and take care of home court next game".

The Blazers had several opportunities to tie the score in the final 10 seconds, down only three points.

Turner 6-15 0-0 13, Aminu 3-7 0-0 7, Nurkic 3-7 5-5 11, Lillard 6-23 2-2 18, McCollum 7-18 1-1 19, E.Davis 3-6 0-2 6, Collins 3-8 1-2 8, Leonard 0-0 0-0 0, Napier 3-7 0-0 6, Baldwin IV 0-0 0-0 0, Connaughton 3-7 0-0 7.

The Blazers and Pelicans met four times during the 2017-2018 season.

The Trail Blazers slow start cost them in game one. They were saved in the first half by their bench players. They will definitely need a complete effort from Lillard and McCollum in game two.

Meanwhile, the Portland Trailblazers lost four of their last five games of the regular season and they came out flat which meant they were always trailing the red-hot Pelicans. One of the smartest guys I've ever been around. The Trail Blazers did not play well in game one, however they still nearly managed to come back to win after falling behind 19 points in the third quarter.

The Trail Blazers are the better team, have been the better team since the second half of the season and have arguably the best backcourt combination in the National Basketball Association.

And finally, fifth, one win does not make a series but it does wonders for the psyche of the game one winners heading into Tuesday's game two in Portland. "But they have Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Rondo, E'Twaun Moore, they've got a lot of guys that make them a unsafe team".

The Pelicans as a team grabbed 49 rebounds, dished 26 assists, blocked 12 shots, stole eight balls and shot 47.7 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the 3-point line.

In a game where Portland was down for much of it, the Pelicans controlled the game the way "great teams" always do-on the defensive side of the ball.

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