The Pelicans started off the game strongly, leading the Blazers 16-6. For the rest of the first half, the game belonged to Portland; they outscored New Orleans 50-26.
A number of things went wrong. Here's what I can recall off the top of my head:
- Anthony Davis was removed before LaMarcus Aldridge sat
- The reserves offense was totally dominated by Ryan Anderson
- When Asik picked up his 3rd foul in the 2nd quarter, the Blazers repeatedly abused Ryan Anderson in the post.
- In 45 combined minutes, the reserves had 2 rebounds
- Pelicans were outscored 31-10 by their reserves
The favorite though? A Mark Davis refereed game went predictable bad yet again for the Pelicans. There were too many missed calls early and often. Simply unacceptable, and I hope after plenty of reviews, he's not allowed to call our games starting next season.
However, despite all this, New Orleans stormed back in the second half and even had the lead several times. A tough whistle appealed to the Pelicans. Unfortunately, a poor fourth quarter finish would doom the team. After leading by 4, the Blazers went on a 22-9 run to finish the game.
Stay tuned for David's full recap coming up shortly. Pelicans are now 1 full game behind the Thunder for the final playoff spot, who play the Rockets tomorrow.