The Night Sweats: Pelicans Pull Off Improbable Cover Against Warriors

The Night Sweats: Pelicans Pull Off Improbable Cover Against Warriors article feature image

The Highlights

  • After New Orleans trailed by only three at the half, Pelicans +11.5 soon looked dead in the water in the second half.
  • The Warriors opened the third quarter on a 25-4 run and eventually extended their lead to as many as 26.
  • However — despite trailing by 23 points four minutes into the final frame — the Pelicans found a way to cover.

As someone who bet on the Pelicans +11.5 over the Warriors, I have no idea what just happened. After a late run in the second quarter, the Pels trailed by only three at the half. Hope restored.

Well, that hope quickly faded into oblivion after the Warriors opened the half on a 10-0 run — which eventually ballooned to a 25-4 run to take a massive 84-60 lead midway through the third quarter. Facing a 24-point deficit and down 3-1 in the series at Oracle, New Orleans looked dead in the water.


Golden State took a 95-75 lead into the final frame — a margin it extended to 23 points four minutes into the quarter. I actually had turned the game off, but remember glancing at the Action app to see a live line of Warriors -22. My New Orleans +11.5 ticket was sinking lifelessly to the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain.


Wait, what? After checking the score again, I had to flip the game back on. The Pelicans somehow went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 105-92. During that rally — which lasted more than four minutes — the Warriors shot 0-for-9 from the floor. (I didn’t think they could miss nine shots in a row.)

The Pels got as close as seven points with 2:04 to play before the Warriors pushed their lead back up to 12. The game outcome was certain, but the cover was still in limbo. Luckily for Pelicans +11.5 bettors, New Orleans had no interest in fouling. After the Pels split two free throws to make it 113-104 with 29.4 seconds left, one question remained: Would Golden State attempt a shot?

I started to envision Draymond Green drilling a 30-footer as the shot clock expired to go up 12. With Golden State dribbling near half court, the sweat was on.


However, it soon became abundantly clear that I wouldn’t have to worry about that nightmare shot. The Warriors simply took a shot-clock violation, and the Pelicans subsequently let the ball roll as time expired. 113-104 final. An absolute prayer cover, as Golden State inexplicably scored only eight points over the final 8:18.

I still don’t know how that happened, but I do know that’s why we love betting. Even when a series lacks drama to the casual fan, bettors and fantasy players are always sweating something.

Photo via Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports