The road woes for the New Orleans Pelicans continued Monday night. Entering the contest, they had a 3-14 away record, so of course their 15th came rather easily. As evidenced by poor offensive and defensive ratings, the team is astronomically worse away from the Smoothie King Center and they show no signs of being able to solve the riddle.
The opening minutes foreshadowed the rest of the game rather well. The Magic started the game on a 9-0 run. Anthony Davis started 0-3 from the foul line. The Pelicans had 3 turnovers in under the first three minutes. Although the Pelicans managed to have a 4-point lead in the second quarter, the Magic entered halftime with a 50-46 lead on the strength of a 13-5 run.
After such a sloppy and slow beginning to the game by the starters, the last thing anyone imagined was the unit could come out flat in the third quarter. Yet, that's precisely what they did. They forced Alvin Gentry to make a hockey-style substitution just 2:19 in. While playing with a bit more passion, the reserves were unable to stem the tide. The 4-point lead grew to 11 by the end of the quarter, and that was all she wrote as the Pelicans failed to make any kind of run in the final frame.
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. After a stellar first half (11 points), Norris Cole finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Tyreke Evans' contributions largely came after halftime: 16 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds.
As far as Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, Gentry issued an all-points bulletin, but he never heard back. The duo combined for 6 points on 2 of 14 shooting (including a 1-9 performance from behind the three-point line).
The Magic were led by Nikola Vucevic (28 points). After putting up 30 points in the first contest, Evan Fournier picked up right were he left off with 20 points on 12 shots. He's going to miss playing against New Orleans for the rest of the season.
Stay tuned for a deeper look a bit later.