Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors are on the cusp of the Western Conference finals after Kevin Durant inspired a game-four win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Durant – the 2014 MVP – led all scorers with 38 points on 15-of-27 shooting with nine rebounds and five assists as Golden State topped New Orleans 118-92 on Sunday.
The Warriors went with their vaunted death line-up of Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala and every player registered a plus/minus of plus-21 points or better as Golden State took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"He was attacking tonight, right from the beginning and he was brilliant," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters of Durant. "There's not much you can do because he's so tall and long he's going to be able to get a shot over you."
In Utah, it was the Rockets' defense that controlled the game once again as Houston took down the Jazz 100-87 to go up 3-1 in the series.
James Harden had 24 points, while Clint Capela finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Utah shot just 39 per cent from the floor and 24.1 per cent from three-point range.
BIRTHDAY BOY CP3 STARS
Chris Paul had 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Rockets. Not a bad 33rd birthday at all.
Pelicans star Anthony Davis put up 26 points and 12 rebounds and was a perfect 10 for 10 from the free-throw line.
MIROTIC FAILS TO DELIVER
Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic scored seven points on one-of-seven shooting. While his 11 rebounds are impressive, the Pelicans need him for his scoring more than his ability to grab boards and he did not provide that on Sunday.
Jazz forward Jae Crowder shot one for 11 from the field with five points and five rebounds.
CAPELA SAYS NO!
There was no way past Capela as the Rockets trumped the Jazz on the road.
CELTICS (3-0) AT 76ERS (0-3) & RAPTORS (0-3) AT CAVALIERS (3-0)
The Boston Celtics have a chance to close the series out on Monday, but the Philadelphia 76ers have been in each of the last two games, they were just unable to close it out late. While Boston could very easily win, the 76ers will not make it easy.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors are 0-7 against the Cleveland Cavaliers over the last two years in the playoffs. They do not want to go 0-8 for obvious reasons. LeBron James is just so good though they may not have any chance to pull out a win.