At first it was the enormous fast break points advantage, then it was the Suns offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, the Pelicans missed too many bunnies and free throws. In the end, though, New Orleans somehow, someway, managed to leave Phoenix with the win!
The start of the game was a house of horrors as the Suns raced out to a 17 point lead. The biggest culprit were the easy baskets handed to the Suns as evidenced by a 15-2 fast break points advantage. Once the Pelicans tightened the screws with 8 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, the Suns managed only one more hoop in that category and 10 points overall in the second quarter. This gave New Orleans the opportunity to get back in the game, trailing by a mere 2 points at the half.
In the second half, the game stayed neck and neck until the final buzzer. A number of Pelicans came up with big shots and plays. It seemed like everything that Ish Smith threw up, went in. Anthony Davis was a monster on the boards, with his final one perhaps the biggest of all, a put-back with 20 seconds remaining. Finally, Jrue Holiday made 4 key free throws in the final seconds, after the Pelicans had struggled from the charity stripe, to effectively put away the game.
Davis led the way with a line of 26 points, 17 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Eric Gordon had 23 points and 4 three's and both Ryan Anderson and Ish finished with 20 a piece. Holiday had trouble finding the range (6-15) but his 19 points and the freebies in the end were as big as any of the other scores.
Brandon Knight led the way for the Suns with 29 points and Eric Bledsoe added 18. Jon Leuer nearly ended up as the difference maker as he scored 15 of his 20 points in the 4th quarter.
Stay tuned for Zachary's full recap coming up a bit later. For now, let's rejoice the Pelicans 3-game winning streak!!!