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A memorable season: Daniel Sallerson's favorite moment from 2017-18 Pelicans season
Huge regular season win over Warriors
Daniel Sallerson is a member of the Pelicans radio broadcast team
My favorite moment of the season came not too long ago against the Golden State Warriors in game number 80 on April 7. It was a three-game road trip for the Pelicans, their last road trip of the season. The first game was on Friday night and they took care of business against the Phoenix Suns.
Then came the biggest game of the season, in my opinion, against the Warriors. A win would basically secure their spot in the playoffs, while a loss could have dropped them down to eighth and maybe as close to being on the outside looking in. I remember earlier that day the Denver Nuggets won, beating the Clippers and eliminating them from playoff contention. Then the Thunder beat the Rockets in a game that the Pelicans needed the Rockets to win, so it was super important that the Pelicans got the win against Golden State.
The Pels got off to a good start and led by a couple of points at the half and then were trailing after three. It was at the four-minute mark of the fourth period when Niko Mirotić hit a huge three to put the Pelicans up eight, where I thought this game could belong to the Pelicans. Of course, I was sitting in our Smoothie King Studios, but I was actually standing throughout most of the fourth quarter because I was so nervous about whether the Pelicans could pull this off. The play of the game happened around the thirty-second mark when Rajon Rondo stole the ball from Kevin Durant, leading to an E’Twaun Moore jumper to put the Pelicans up four. I knew at that point that the Pelicans were going to lock up their first win against the Warriors in 10 tries. It was the first time beating the Warriors in almost five years on the road; the last time New Orleans had won at Golden State was the lockout year back in late April 2012.
If it wasn’t for this win, the Pelicans might not have seen the playoffs this season and, of course, we all know how that turned out, as the Pelicans made it to the Western Conference semifinals. I think it was a crucial game for the Pelicans – a game that will probably be remembered in their franchise history when looking back at most important regular season games of all-time – and certainly paved the way for them to make the postseason and make a run in the playoffs as well.