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Pelicans fail to stage late game heroics twice in a row in 99-92 loss to Knicks

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The New Orleans Pelicans finished their road trip 2-3, after their third straight disappointing loss to an Eastern Conference foe.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans lost in final moments to the Knicks, 99-92, after starting poorly for the third straight game. There were no late game heroics like last night, but it's difficult to accept they struggled against the worst team in the NBA, and lost. This team remains consistently inconsistent, and it’s simply mind boggling.

What Went Wrong:

  • Ryan Anderson – Yet another poor shooting night for Ryan Anderson. Although a few just rolled out down the stretch, he ended up going 4-17 from the field and 3-13 from deep. Anderson has been struggling on the road this entire month. At halftime:
  • Only 13 Assists – The Pelicans have lots of ball heavy guards and they usually like to share the ball. This performance was 9 assists below their average. The major issue was the Pelicans missed a lot of contested (40.4 FG%) and uncontested (40.6%) looks. The assist numbers would have obviously been higher had Ryan and the rest of his teammates made a few more on the night. Make shot league folks.
  • 1 Wasted Half – The Pelicans needed more help from their supporting cast outside of Eric Gordon and Tyreke EvansOmer Asik and Alexis Ajinca didn’t score a single point in the first half, but both finished with a combined 19 points in the second. Pondexter only had 3 points in the first as well, but went on to finish with 10 for the game. Conversely, Jimmer Fredette, after scoring 6 in the first 24 minutes of the game, vanished after intermission.
  • 4 Opponent Turnovers – Without Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans were unable to disrupt one of the league's worst offenses. The Knicks finished with just 4 turnovers for the entire game and had a sparkling 22-4 AST/TOV ratio.

What Went Right:

  • Eric Gordon –  Eric Gordon had a tremendous 3 quarters, scoring 20 points on 7-11 shots after 36 minutes. Unfortunately, he went 0-4 in the final frame to finish 7-15. Although he ended poorly, it was a good sign to see him being aggressive and scoring when the team while most of the team struggled.
  • Rebounding – The Pelicans crashed the offensive glass and pulled down 20 offensive rebounds to the Knicks 9. The charge was led by Asik and Ajinca with 6 offensive rebounds a piece. This led New Orleans outscoring the Knicks 25-12 in second chance points. In all, the Pels outrebounded the Knicks by 16 when it was all said and done.
  • Points in the Paint – The Pelicans outscored the Knicks 46-32.

Finishing the Road trip

This was the last game of the 5 game eastern conference road trip and the Pelicans finished a disappointing 2-3. Something can be said about winning the two toughest games, and the Pelicans deserve all the praise for those two victories, but those 3 loses are simply unacceptable. The most disappointing part about the road trip had to be losing to 3 of the worst teams in the league, whose GM’s are putting them in situations to try and lose as many games as possible -- Boston, Philadelphia and New York.

Had superstar Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday played, the outcome would have probably been different. Alas, it doesn't matter now. Up next, the Pelicans return home to face the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. From reports last week, there is a good chance Kobe Bryant will not play.