The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Phoenix Suns, 120-119, in overtime in Phoenix, Arizona Sunday night on the second half of a back-to-back in a disjointed effort from both teams. Jrue Holiday made an and-1 runner to give the Pelicans the lead with about 2:50 in overtime and his free throws the rest of the way iced the game for Nola. Holiday totaled 23 points in 39 minutes, his most court time thus far this season.
Holiday actually spent much of the night struggling until he broke loose from frustrating fouls and missed 3-pointers to score 16 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He’s good enough that with sufficient playing time, he’ll eventually make impact plays and that’s exactly what happened tonight. The Holiday-Frazier backcourt seemed to work wonders for the team’s offense, and adding Langston Galloway to the mix only helped that side of the ball: the Louisiana native caught fire again.
Galloway added another 4 made 3s to his team-leading total of 42, and they all came in the second half after only getting about 2 minutes in the 1st half. Did I mention the game was disjointed?
And I don’t want to bury the lede for our Tim Frazier bandwagoners, but it was a weird game: he had his first ever triple-double with 14, 11 and 11 in 37 minutes — from off the bench. At game’s end Anthony Davis repeatedly called him Michael Jordan in the locker room.
Watch Anthony Davis whisper "Michael Jordan" several times to Tim Frazier, when talking about his triple-double. pic.twitter.com/vcya02sNke— Oleh Kosel (@Redhopeful) December 12, 2016
Frazier didn’t start the game with Jrue and Buddy Hield owning the guard spots in the first half; Reggie Williams impressed the coaches so much that he started the second half in Hield’s spot after making all 3 of his three-pointers before halftime, finishing with 17 points. Williams then didn’t play a second in the fourth quarter or overtime, despite being the team’s hottest shooter to that point (maybe Galloway matched him). But, anyway, Frazier: he’s just *so* quick, gets to the right places and knows when to get rid of the ball.
The Pelicans made 16 three-pointers as a team, a new season-high, and they came from 7 different players: Williams, Holiday, Hield, Galloway... Terrence Jones even! Did you know that when the Pelicans are hot from the outside, they usually emerge victorious?
When Pelicans shoot three-ball well, they usually win. 40% tonight (4th-best). In top 8 3FG% shooting performances, they've won 6 of them. pic.twitter.com/2nvtmdbNfI— Oleh Kosel (@Redhopeful) December 12, 2016
Is AD human after all?
Anthony Davis had 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 44-minute effort tonight in which he struggled from the floor (4-of-17), squaring off mostly against PJ Tucker and Tyson Chandler. Davis, like many talented bigs, can struggle against a smart, physical, quick 4 like Tucker (adding in occasional defensive work from Chandler, Alex Len, Jared Dudley and anyone else who wants to take a shot).
Generally though, Davis missed shots he might otherwise make, although he lacked any massive dunks or alley-oops, which at least tells me the Phoenix defense was a difference-maker in establishing position early.
Nola Baby Cakes
The Frazier-Jrue-Galloway-Moore-AD super-small (now called the Baby Cakes) lineup seems interesting - basically it shows me that Gentry didn’t have any trust in Solomon Hill as well as any other bigs in clutch minutes tonight. Hill had 5 points in 17 minutes tonight, and he didn’t see the floor much after the 1st half. This lineup has barely played this season, but it might be a look that helps get the offense moving, especially in terms of 3s. The Pelicans have the 2nd worst 3-point percentage in the league, so anything to overload the lineup with shooting options helps.
The Brow Mound of Rebound
The Pelicans did a good job on the offensive glass tonight! Maybe it was when they realized they couldn’t make a shot... maybe it was putting in Chieck Diallo for 9 first-half minutes (4 points, 4 rebounds)... but the Pelicans actually grabbed some of their own misses tonight, including the wily Frazier, who snuck in for some boards and even fought one away from the massive Tyson Chandler that resulted in Pels ball. Overall, they grabbed 14 of their 59 missed shots (23.8 percent), which is just fine for a normal NBA team, but amazing when you’re the league’s worst. More Chieck, please!