**Before we start:
Tyreke Evans News Bulletin
Gotta give it up to Fox Sports New Orleans for reporting Tyreke’s expected return date of this Friday, December 2nd, against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Hooray for Tyreke!
The game: AD, Jrue and Asik, oh my!
Anthony Davis had 41 points, 16 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks (but in 41 minutes?) as the Pelicans beat the Lakers, 105-88. It was New Orleans’ 5th win in their last 7 games and extended the team’s home game winning streak to 5 games.
The Pelicans dominated the game, leading nearly wire-to-wire after the teams exchanged punches early, especially from Jordan Clarkson, Jrue Holiday, Davis and Pels savior at center, Omer Asik.
The Pelicans got to the line, especially early, (17-of-19 in the first half; LAL: 4-9) then pushed back with Davis against short Lakers runs in second half garbage time.
Clarkson had all 9 of his points in the first quarter, nailing jumpers and slashing to the hoop; unfortunately, he was in for injury reasons: Nick Young sustained an achilles injury early in the game. Despite morose commentary from Fox Sports New Orleans, Lakers reporter Mike Trudell noted his injury was a “strain.” Here’s hoping for the best for Swaggy P.
Nick Young has a right Achilles' tendon strain. He’s out for tonight’s game and will undergo an MRI tomorrow in Chicago.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 30, 2016
The way the Nola crew reacted, who I truly believe is one of the best broadcasting teams in the league, could have been more muted, but Young is a beloved NBA vet; I don’t think they were trying to be over-the-top. This was very reminiscent of a serious-looking Anthony Davis injury against the Clippers 2 seasons ago when Chris Paul veered into Davis’ lane and threw on the brakes - I know you remember this play. Davis was carried off the floor, but the funeral from the Clippers TV guys—another pair I truly like—was a little much. That always bothered me. End rant.
Jrue in with starters
Jrue Holiday got his first start of 2016-17, and his time on the floor was nearly all positive. Holiday had 22 points and 5 assists, providing shiftiness and much-needed perimeter defense. Jrue simply moves down the floor with a combo of agility and smarts that not many other Pelicans have. Jrue answered all of Clarkson’s early points with buckets of his own as well as some pretty dimes. Below are two of his plays and a great example of why I love his game.
1. Off the dribble, Curry-style, step-back 3
Jroolio #pelicans pic.twitter.com/iQqHOnPCdV— Travis Tate (@TraBeTa) November 30, 2016
2. Incredible handle, change of direction, survey, pass, catch and shoot 3
Well then #pelicans pic.twitter.com/iY8X6Hj08V— Travis Tate (@TraBeTa) November 30, 2016
And I feel bad leaving out clips of his defense - that’s usually where Jrue does his damage and tonight was no different, even remembering Nick Young’s absence. Clarkson didn’t score after the first quarter, Jose Calderon had 2 points and Marcelo Huertas had zero. Lou Williams, who is having another great year in his 31st NBA season(!), did go for 16 (but on 5-14 shooting), preventing this game from being a 50-point blowout.
As for the rest of the Pelicans...
- Omer Asik was involved early to help set the tone, grabbing 9 rebounds in the first 15 minutes of the game and finishing with a rare double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds).
- Terrence Jones failed to hit a three-pointer, but he displayed solid energy by grabbing 8 boards in 26 minutes.
- Langston Galloway hit two more threes to bring his team-leading total to 32 makes.
- Newcomer Anthony Brown had his best line in a Pelicans uniform: 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. There may be something under the hoods after all.
- And the rookies?
Buddy Hield and Cheick Diallo check in. Human victory cigars.— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) November 30, 2016
Up next, the New Orleans Pelicans face the Clippers this Friday, losers tonight to the Brooklyn Nets in double overtime. Gulp?