After three straight losses and injuries almost too numerous to mention the New Orleans Pelicans needed a fast start tonight against the Orlando Magic. Instead they came out flat, shot poorly, and quickly found themselves in another big hole. As soon as Alexis Ajinca found his way to the bench Nikola Vucevic went to work on the glass leading to a couple second chance points. A troubling amount of Magic points either came at the rim or behind the arc as they finished the quarter on a 19-7 run.
The second quarter the Pelicans would dig into the lead a little, and then the Magic would extend it again. Long scoring droughts plagued New Orleans as they simply could not put together a number of quality possessions until the quarter began to wind to a close.
Out of the locker room Eric Gordon did his best to put the team on his back scoring five quick points. His three point make early on heralded a change for the Pelicans as the lid was officially removed from the basket. As a team the Pelicans shot 6-12 behind the arc during the third quarter alone and honestly left a number of easy buckets still on the table as nearly everyone was uncontested. Alas, each mini-run by the Pels would be again answered by the Magic and the Pelicans went into the fourth quarter trailing by nine.
There was some hope in the fourth quarter but the Pelicans never even had a possession with the chance to tie or take the lead. Like a bigger brother the Magic just held New Orleans at arms length. Anthony Davis was largely missing in action again all night and finished with just 14 points shooting 3-12 from the field. Eric Gordon (21 points on 19 shots), Jrue Holiday (14 points on 13 shots), and Ryan Anderson (14 points on 15 shots) all turned in inefficient performances.
There have been too many possessions already this season in which Anthony Davis flat hasn't played hard enough.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 4, 2015
On the even worse side of things, Luke Babbitt dinged up his shoulder during the game on at least two occasions. He re-entered again during the fourth with a grey shoulder wrap on his left shoulder. The extent of the injury remains unknown but Babbitt did go back to the locker room twice for diagnosis and/or treatment. Tonight the Pelicans dressed just ten players with Quincy Pondexter, Tyreke Evans, Norris Cole, Omer Asik, and Kendrick Perkins on the injured list.
Their next game is Friday, also at home in the Smoothie King Center, against the Atlanta Hawks.