NEW ORLEANS — Kevin Durant made his approach to taking over a pivotal NBA playoff game sound so simple – and look that way, too.

“I just try to tell myself that I’m at my best when I don’t care what happens after the game, the outcome or anything,” Durant said. “That’s when I’m free and having fun out there, and forceful. That was the thing – just try to play with force no matter if I missed shots or not, just keep shooting, keep being aggressive.”

Durant scored Golden State’s first two baskets on pull-up jumpers of 21 and 15 feet before 1:30 had elapsed Sunday in Game 4 of the Golden State Warriors’ Western Conference semifinal series against the New Orleans Pelicans.

He finished with 38 points on 15-of-27 shooting to go with nine rebounds, and Golden State defeated the Pelicans 118-92 to take a 3-1 series lead back to the West Coast.

Stephen Curry of the Warriors said it was apparent early that getting the ball to Durant would be wise.

“Just find ways to get him in scoring positions,” Curry said. “Sometimes that’s not really hard to do – just throw it to him. Just keep the game simple at that point because he’s such a great scorer, you don’t have to really overthink things.”

The Warriors lost by 19 in Game 3 on Friday and the Pelicans were looking to even the series. Instead the Warriors responded with a resounding effort that produced a wire-to-wire win with leads as large as 26 points. Curry scored 23, Klay Thompson added 13 and Quinn Cook, who was a Pelicans reserve earlier this season, contributed 12 points.

Anthony Davis had 26 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which hit 36 percent (32 of 88) of its shots, missing 22 of 26 3-point attempts.

Pelicans Coach Alvin Gentry said Golden State’s defense “had a lot to do with” the Pelicans’ poor shooting.

“We didn’t have the looks we normally have,” he said. “We pressed a little bit when we got behind.”

E’Twaun Moore scored 20 and Jrue Holiday 19, but New Orleans’ reserves combined for 14 points after scoring 32 two nights earlier. Rajon Rondo finished with 11 rebounds but had only six assists after racking up 21 in Game 3.

ROCKETS 100, JAZZ 87: Chris Paul had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and James Harden scored 24 points to power Houston at Salt Lake City, taking a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Paul, playing the sidekick to Harden for most of his first season in Houston, took center stage, controlling the tempo and getting to his favorite spots as the Rockets led from start to finish.

Donovan Mitchell scored 25 before fouling out and Joe Ingles had 15 for the Jazz.

Mitchell started finding lanes to the basket late and got the Jazz within 85-80 after fueling a 10-2 run. But Paul, who matched his scoring high for this playoff run, hit a pull-up jumper and found Trevor Ariza for a 3-pointer to put the Rockets back up by double digits.