Tyreke Evans was unavailable to play, but Anthony Davis returned to action as the Pelicans welcomed the Nets. Unfortunately for the home team, he started the game off a quick 0-5 from the field, symbolizing the slow start by both squads. More than midway through the first quarter, both teams were tied at 7 points apiece.
Following a timeout, Wayne Ellington got hot, drilling a a trio of three-pointers (and made 4 total in first 12 minutes). Ryan Anderson responded with 7 points of his own to keep the Pelicans in the game, and New Orleans trailed 22-16 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the Pelicans momentarily seized the lead, but they failed to keep the momentum. During the final 6:37, they converted on just 3 field goal attempts. New Orleans trailed 51-44 but it could have been far worse had the Nets shot better than 5-11 from the free throw line or the Pelicans bench wasn't so productive (24 points).
The Pelicans started the second half trying to get Davis going as he had shot a frigid 0-9 in the first 24 minutes of action. He succeeded on removing the lid off the rim on his 11th attempt and proceeded to make his next three shots. He tallied 12 points (on 6-10 from the field) in all before sitting down for a mandatory rest. The Pelicans didn't skip a beat, though, and finished the frame on a 7-2 run to take a 71-66 into the final quarter.
During several moments in the fourth quarter, it appeared the Pelicans would break the game wide open, but it never transpired. The Nets hung around because of Brook Lopez. He finished with an incredible line: 33 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks.
With 1:53 to go in the game and the Pelicans clinging to a 2-point lead, Norris Cole scored on a runner out of a timeout, but the Nets came right back with two points of their own. After a Holiday missed jumper from the elbow, Thaddeus Young scored on another easy lay-in, his fourth consecutive one, to tie it all up. Jrue dropped a couple of free throws and Lopez came right back with a dunk.
After a 20 second time out by Alvin Gentry, Holiday was forced to take a difficult three, yet he managed to drain it. Naturally Joe Johnson squared things back up at 103 after the Nets freed him up off of a double screen.
With 6.9 seconds remaining, it was Holiday's time to shine again. This time he converted a difficult fadeaway, made all the harder because he had initially fumbled the ball. Without a timeout, the Nets were forced to score in under two seconds from 94 feet away; however, Johnson came incredibly close, sending his prayer from beyond half court careening off the back iron -- inches from heartbreak for the Pelicans.
Jrue Holiday was magical down the stretch and finished with 26 points, 7 assists and 3 triples. Ryan Anderson had the best all-around line: 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 triples, 2 steals and 1 block. Anthony Davis had his first double-double since January 13th with 20 points and 16 rebounds.