The Warriors pulled out the broomstick Saturday and finished off New Orleans in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs.
Golden State swept a playoff series for the first time since 1975 when the championship Warriors swept Washington in the NBA Finals.
It wasn’t the series win that stood out most; Golden State was favored and expected to emerge from of the New Orleans series with ease. It was the manner in which the Warriors played — especially in the final game of the four-game sweep — that made anyone watching take pause.
Having played sub-Warriors basketball through the first three games, Golden State finally dominated on both ends of the floor and in every way behind a 39-point, nine-assist, eight-rebound performance from Stephen Curry.
Holding the Pelicans to 5-of-18 shooting from the floor in the third quarter, the Warriors took a 21-point lead heading into the final frame.
The Pelicans were able to close the lead to single digits, but the overall performance from Golden State was dominant throughout the game and down the stretch.
Even with New Orleans making their final push in the fourth, the confidence of the Warriors was unshaken.
In Game 1, the Warriors jumped out early, giving them enough of an advantage to withstand a 20-point fourth quarter from Anthony Davis. But it wasn’t the Warriors best ball.
Game 2 saw the Pelicans come out strong, but the Warriors played great defense in the second half and came out on top.
Game 3 was rescued by the heroics of Stephen Curry, who hit a game-tying three at the end of regulation, after which the Warriors won in overtime.
But in Game 4 the Warriors played a complete game, crashing the boards, moving the ball, getting out in transition (scoring 20 fast break points to the Pelicans zero), and playing excellent defense.
The Warriors now head to the Western Conference Semifinals where they will play either the Memphis Grizzlies or the Portland Trail Blazers.