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For Pelicans, No Place Like Home for Game 3

The New Orleans Pelicans have a great history of success at home in the third game of a playoff series. Will that continue?
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New Orleans, LA - The New Orleans Pelicans made history with their Game 2 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Dating back to the 2002-03 season, neither the Hornets nor the Pelicans had ever won after losing a series opener.

New Orleans had been 0-5 in the second series game (0-4 in round one) before Sunday night's 125-114 triumph.

So, this is unchartered territory for the Pelicans?

The good thing is that the Pelicans have been bucking many historical trends over the past two-plus months. 

It's almost cinematic that the Pels face a team led by a beloved former coach and its first true franchise player. The Ghosts of Pelicans Past must deal with the franchise's exciting present and bright future.

New Orleans basketball's present and past collide as Brandon Ingram drives on Chris Paul.

New Orleans basketball's present and past collide as Brandon Ingram drives on Chris Paul.

New Orleans basketball's present and past collide as Brandon Ingram drives on Chris Paul.

What does the past say about Game 3?

New Orleans is 5-4 all-time in game three in the playoffs, including wins against the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors during the 2018 playoffs.

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The Pelicans are 5-2 in the Smoothie King Center, posting a .714 winning percentage at the Blender in Game 3s.

In the five wins, they outscored opponents by 11.6 points per game. The two losses came by an average of seven points.

The home crowd has been very good to the Pelicans in those pivotal situations, and it's hard not to expect to see New Orleans on the verge of complete eruption in anticipation of cheering their team on to one or even two more wins.

CJ McCollum has been on the receiving end of that energy, watching a sea of red-clad maniacs unnerve his third-seeded Blazers on the way to a four-game sweep at the hands of the sixth-seeded Pelicans.

CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum lost a Game Three to the Pelicans as a member of the Trail Blazers in 2018.

CJ McCollum lost a Game Three to the Pelicans as a member of the Trail Blazers in 2018.

New Orleans is still the underdog. The worst record in the playoffs versus the best record in the entire NBA. Devin Booker or no Devin Booker. 

Just don't tell the Pelicans. And certainly don't say that to "The 12."

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