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The Pelicans put down the Wolves, 110-88

New Orleans let Minnesota hang around until the fourth quarter.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans took care of business but it wasn't the prettiest of wins when compared to the last time the Timberwolves were in town. Turnovers plagued both teams early and throughout moments for the rest of the game; meanwhile the Pelicans continued to struggle from the free throw line.

Thanks to Flip Saunders strategic use of timeouts, the Pelicans were not able to blow the game wide open until the fourth quarter. Once Anthony Bennett slammed the ball down and earned himself a technical, the Pelicans were then able to coast to victory.

Eric Gordon seemed to have re-aggravated his shoulder injury in the first half, but he never came out of the game.

Later, Jennifer Hale reported it wasn't a concern at halftime, and sure enough, Gordon was back out there and nailed a jumper for the team's first made field goal in the second half.

When it was all said and done, the Wolves lacked the firepower to stay with the Pels for 48 minutes in the Smoothie King Center. Monty Williams went with a 9 man rotation in the first half today and if Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson return in the near future as reports indicate, we should expect he'll typically roll with 10 players. Most likely, Toney Douglas will take a seat alongside Jimmer Fredette, Jeff Withey and Luke Babbitt.


The Pelicans came out of the gates quickly on a 7-0 run with the exclamation point coming on a Quincy Pondexter 3-point bomb.  It didn't get any better for the Timberwolves for the rest of the first quarter as they only tallied a total of 11 points. Besides the 29.4 FG%, they also had 7 turnovers. The 11 points marked a season low by a Pels opponent.

In the second quarter, the Wolves promptly scored 11 points in under 4 minutes and Monty Williams was forced to call a timeout. Unfortunately, that didn't seem to slow them down, and combined with a Pelicans 3 minute scoreless drought, a 14 point lead was cut to just 2.

Bad turnovers and a number of missed jumpers were the name of the game on one end; easy attempts by the Wolves on the other. However, for the remainder of the final 2:30 of the 1st half, the Pelicans got their act together and closed on 9-2 run to take a 50-41 lead into intermission.

Anthony Davis and Omer Asik led the way, scoring 13 and 10 respectively, as the Wolves didn't have a good interior presence, especially after Gorgui Dieng had to leave the game.

In the third quarter, a couple of missed lay-ins by Anthony Davis and more turnovers for the kitty dominated the theme early, but the team settled down and extended their lead from 4 points up to double digits. Yet, as it had happened all game, the Pels were unable to deliver the knock out blow -- Minnesota closed the frame out on a 7-0 run.

Well, that elusive boxer's punch came in the fourth. The Pelicans jumped out to a 11-2 run to start the final frame on the strength of 7 points by Davis. The reserves took it from there and played well enough to where Monty didn't have to reinsert the starters for the final minutes of the game.

Game Notes

- Anthony Davis was the star of the game with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Although the team shot over 50% from the field, he failed to crack that barrier because he missed several from in close that he normally converts.

- Omer Asik was headed to one of his better lines of the season, but with the game in hand in the 4th quarter and the Wolves undersized once Dieng departed, he played 25 minutes. He still finished with 15 points (his season high is 17) and 6 rebounds. He made 7 of 9 shots and that's become a theme for the month. In March, he is now shooting 58.1%, easily his best as a Pelican. He'll still miss the occasional bunny, but it's nice to see he's not having multiple shots thrown back in his face.

- After two invisible games, Eric Gordon bounced back with 12 points and 7 assists in 30 minutes of action. Hopefully his shoulder will not turn into an issue in the coming days before the next game.

- Who didn't absolutely fall in love with how Andrew Wiggins gets to the foul line? If the Pelicans could find a player with this type of ability next season, look out NBA.

- In general, I enjoyed the entire performance by the reserves, but the activity of Tony Douglas, Alexis Ajinca and Dante Cunningham really stood out. As stated in the preview, the Wolves have been prone to turnovers lately, but if the bench could come in and cause at least some of the havoc witnessed today, it'll be a big boost against the better remaining teams left on the schedule.

Up Next

The Pelicans will embark on a 3 game road trip out West this week. First up will be the Los Angeles Lakers, but the game isn't until Wednesday. Perhaps there's a glimmer of hope that we'll see either Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday back in action for that one?

If you've got time tonight, tune into NBAtv as the Thunder will face the Suns in Phoenix at 8 PM Central time. Pending the outcome, the Pelicans will either be 1.5 or 2.5 games out of the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference.