During the pre-game warmups, the New Orleans Pelicans announced Anthony Davis would miss the contest after sustaining a right leg injury. Thankfully, it was not the same leg that he landed on awkwardly in the team's preceding game against the Thunder. Moreover, Fox Sports New Orleans showed Davis attempting to give it a go before tip-off, so knock on wood, his latest ailment will not amount to anything serious.
As for the game, it began as one would have expected with Alexis Ajinca and Ryan Anderson defending the paint -- the Pelicans found themselves in a quick deficit after giving up numerous easy shots at the rim. However, that didn't remain the theme for very long. Before the first quarter ended, New Orleans had a lead, then throughout the next 12 minutes, they expanded it!
Ryan Anderson (20 points, 9 rebounds), Jrue Holiday (13 points, 4 assists) and Eric Gordon (10 points) did the heavy lifting in the first half, accounting for 76.8% of the scoring total.
Following a 9-0 run by the Wolves out of halftime, the Pelicans aforementioned trio went back to work. New Orleans grew their lead back to double-digits and were up 10 heading into the 4th quarter. It wouldn't last. Led by Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves started using their athleticism to their advantage and started getting to the paint area at will. Suddenly, the Pelicans lost their lead they had held since the first quarter.
After the lead was exchanged several times but with the Wolves on top, Gorgui Dieng fouled Eric Gordon and sent him to the line. He calmly sank both attempts and the game was tied at 110 apiece. With 12.2 seconds remaining, Andrew Wiggins drove to the hole and missed, but Gordon was correctly called for a blocking foul. After he converted both of his free throws, New Orleans only had 3.6 seconds to get a shot -- they were without a timeout. They didn't even get a chance to shoot a prayer as Dieng stole the ball.
Eric Gordon's return was a raging success: 31 points (season-high), 4 threes, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Ryan Anderson also poured in 31 points and added a new season high 14 rebounds. Jrue Holiday had 20 points and 8 assists.
Stay tuned for the full recap a bit later.