First quarters normally do not go the Pelicans way, and that trend continued against the Clippers. Fueled by an opponent's 10-0 run and a dismal 38.1 FG%, New Orleans faced another double digit deficit following the end of the first frame. However, that theme sadly continued into the 2nd quarter, and the Clipper starters found a nice rhythm that was buoyed by a hot-shooting J.J. Redick.
Just before halftime, referees whistled a foul on Anthony Davis after Blake Griffin fell to the ground around midcourt and AD simply tripped over him. Griffin received free throws, Alvin Gentry picked up a technical, and to top things off, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday got into foul trouble just moments earlier. In the final 4:39 of the second quarter, the Clippers went on a 19-4 run.
When the dust settled, Los Angeles enjoyed a 21 point halftime lead. They gave up too many easy looks around the rim by simply allowing the Clippers solid positioning. For instance, all of Griffin's five made field goals occurred right at the rim. The Clippers dominated the paint (32-22), and they ran all over a lifeless Pelicans squad as evidenced by the 19-2 fast break points advantage.
In the 3rd quarter, things didn't really improve much, but in the blink of an eye, the Pelicans season went on life support as Davis had to be carried off the floor. His knee moved in an awkward fashion after Chris Paul pulled his typical, I'm-going-to run-into-you-as-I-bring-the-ball-up move to draw a foul.
.@pelicans PF Anthony Davis carried off floor with right knee injury. The way his knee buckled to the inside worrisome for ACL injury.— Dr. Mark Adickes (@jocktodoc) November 28, 2015
Thankfully, Jennifer Hale relieved throngs of worried fans as tests revealed there was nothing structurally wrong with Davis' knee.
Medical staff says @PelicansNBA Anthony Davis suffered a Right knee contusion in collision w/ CP3, no structural damage. Questionable return— Jennifer Hale (@JenHale504) November 28, 2015
As for the game, the Pelicans lost, and lost big, but it was a welcome sight to see Davis sitting with his teammates on the bench in the 4th quarter. Stay tuned for the full recap where Chris Paul and his dirty bag of tricks visit the hot seat.