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Pelicans collapse in the fourth quarter, refuse to take advantage of Pacers generosity

That was so bad.

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Alvin Gentry went with a new starting lineup tonight, inserting Dante Cunningham in at small forward for Alonzo Gee. Sadly, he does not have much additional information to go on as those five played just three minutes together. Anthony Davis, diving over the New Orleans Pelicans bench to save a loose ball, injured his back and possibly his elbow as well according to immediate reports. Davis would not return after logging just 3:21 of game time. It is the third game this season Davis has left in the first half due to injury or illness.

Still, New Orleans strung together an impressive first quarter  and led 30-16 after the first 12 minutes. All that hot shooting would crash back to earth with an awful 13 point second quarter. Tyreke Evans came out of the locker room absolutely on fire, scoring 16 points in the third quarter alone. When the jumper is falling for Evans he becomes nearly unguardable.

Norris Cole did everything imaginable to ensure the New Orleans Pelicans would lose this game tonight. His shot selection was beyond awful, a smorgasbord of ill-conceived jumpers without any realistic chance of finding the bottom of the net.

Alexis Ajinca was solid tonight despite a poor shooting line. He was active defensively without fouling, piling up five steals with those long arms against just two personal fouls. That was just the beginning as the Pelicans piled up 21 as a team. Jrue Holiday provided a tour-de-force performance defensively; guarding Paul George (who had just 13 points on 13 shots) while piling up four steals and two blocks of his own.

Ultimately, poor execution during the fourth quarter doomed New Orleans again tonight. Both teams were terrible as the clock wound down, but the Pelicans were worse. Turnovers. Airballs. Awful offense. It was everything you don't want to see in a basketball game.

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