NEW ORLEANS -- Any chance of the Warriors sweeping through the Western Conference Semifinals ended Friday, buried under relentless grit and a blizzard of 3-point shots by the Pelicans.
A 119-100 loss to New Orleans before a roaring throng at Smoothie King Center left the defending champs with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Four Warriors scored in double digits, led by Klay Thompson’s 26 points. Kevin Durant put in 22 and Stephen Curry 19 but was only 6-of-19 from the field. The Warriors shot 38 percent from the field.
The Pelicans not only crushed every Warriors rally but also burned them with 45.2- percent shooting (14-of-31) beyond the arc. The Warriors shot 29 percent (9-of-31) from deep.
Nobody played particularly well for the Warriors, but there was some satisfaction in Thompson having a bounce-back shooting night.
Thompson’s line: 26 points (9-of-22 shooting, including 3-of-9 beyond the arc, 5-of-5 from the line) and seven rebounds. He played 36 minutes and finished minus-26.
Thompson scored 20 points in the third quarter, a career-high for points in a quarter of a playoff game, besting his 19-point fourth quarter in Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals at Oklahoma City.
After Warriors wiped out most of a 15-point deficit by posting a 35-point second quarter and pulling within six at the half (62-56), New Orleans opened the third quarter with a 28-9 run, taking a 90-65 lead when Anthony Davis hit two free throws with 2:13 left in the quarter.
New Orleans took a 92-75 lead into the fourth quarter, during which the Warriors got no closer than 15.
Warriors: G Pat McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) was listed as out.
Pelicans: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee injury), DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles rupture) and G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) were listed as out.
Game 4 is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Smoothie King Center. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 11:00 a.m., with postgame coverage immediately after the ABC telecast.