Prior to tip-off, the Pelicans announced both Tyreke Evans (knee) and Anthony Davis (concussion) would miss the contest against the Kings. Alvin Gentry decided to start Ryan Anderson and recent 10-day contract signee, Bryce Dejean-Jones.
Almost expectedly, New Orleans began slowly, falling behind 5-2. The Pelicans bounced back soon thereafter, though, going on a 9-0 run fueled by 7 points from Anderson and an exclamation dunk by Dejean-Jones. The duo's fun didn't stop there. BDJ would go on to add his second made career three-pointer, and Anderson went full #FlameThrower. By the time the first quarter ended, Anderson had 18 points, inciting an 18-2 run to finish out the frame, and the team had an 18-point lead.
So. Many. Positive. Number. 18's! Seriously, who saw that coming?
Despite a much slower pace, the second quarter saw the channel flip to the Jrue Holiday show. He scored the team's first 7 points to keep the Pelicans comfortably ahead of the Kings. As the frame wound down, the Kings progressively started to cut into the Pelicans 19-point lead. DeMarcus Cousins, Marco Belinelli and Ben McLemore combined for 22 straight points to reduce it to 8.
At that point, though, Anderson flipped on his ignition switch again. He closed out the first half with 7 straight points to regain the Pelicans double-digit spread, 63-53.
Anderson had 30 points, Holiday, 15, and Dejean-Jones, 10, after the first 24 minutes of the game. New Orleans made 25-47 field goals (53.2%) and 7-14 from three-point range; however, they did have 9 turnovers that helped give the Kings some life.
The start of the second half saw the Kings cut the Pelicans lead to just 7. For the most part, this margin remained relatively steady throughout the third quarter. It helped that Norris Cole finally joined the scoring column and paced New Orleans with 9 points. Thanks to a 10-2 run to close out the frame, the Pelicans pushed the lead back into double-digits, 92-79.
The final 12 minutes started with New Orleans on a 5-0 run to push the lead to 18. Cousins promptly re-entered the game, but the damage was done. Omer Asik frustrated the 2016 All-Star consistently throughout the matchup, and then he even displayed some offense by grabbing a rebound in traffic and flushing the putback. The Kings did intentionally foul Dejean-Jones down the stretch to send him to the free throw line (he had started 0-4) and made 1 of 2, but thankfully, they didn't continue to pursue that strategy.
Ryan Anderson tied his career-high with 36 points. He added 9 rebounds, 5 threes and 4 assists (1 off his career-high). Jrue Holiday had a nice line of 25 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. After a scoreless first half, Norris Cole finished with 17 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Bryce Dejean-Jones, easily the biggest surprise on the night, had himself a memorable game: 14 points, 3 treys, 2 rebounds/assists/steals and this fine chase-down block!
Stay tuned for the full recap a bit later.