The New Orleans Pelicans didn't resemble the team that was on a 4-game losing streak. Not. One. Bit. They absolutely dominated the first half and rode that momentum throughout the second half. The only reason the final score didn't reflect the disparity was because the Pelicans stopped trying during the final minutes of regulation.
Interestingly, the game started a bit slowly as Anthony Davis and Norris Cole combined to make just three of their first eleven shots while Bryce Dejean-Jones picked up two quick personal fouls. However, once Jrue Holiday entered, he promptly helped pick the offense up by depositing several wide open threes. Following an AD dunk, the Pelicans had built a 20-16 lead with 4:07 remaining, and they would go on to close out the first quarter on a 8-2 run. Davis and Holiday paced New Orleans with 8 points apiece leading to a 6-point advantage.
The Timberwolves started the second quarter quickly thanks to a couple of offensive rebounds. After their first two possessions, they had cut their deficit to a single point, but the Pelicans stormed back, going on a 14-0 run. Although Alonzo Gee picked up two quick fouls after replacing Dante Cunningham, Luke Babbitt had his back. With his hair beginning to resemble last season's style, Babbitt helped spearhead that run with a couple of three-pointers.
At the midway point of the second frame, the Pelicans had a 50-30 lead. Everything was clicking for the Pelicans and Holiday was leading the parade (18 points, 4 assists). The Timberwolves barely managed to cut into their deficit by halftime (63-46) despite shooting 13 more free throws in the first half. It helped that Ricky Rubio made just one of three attempts before both teams headed to the locker rooms after Cole inexplicably fouled him on a half court heave.
The third quarter started with Karl-Anthony Towns making an impression, specifically on Dante Cunningham's face.
The Pelicans weathered the lapse relatively well, immediately increasing the lead from 12 back to 20 points. The Timberwolves didn't quit, though, at least not until after Gorgui Dieng picked up a silly technical foul after rolling across the basketball court a full three revolutions for being whistled for a charging foul call against Ryan Anderson. This spurred the Pelicans on a 12-1 run and built their largest lead of the night of 25 points.
The fourth quarter isn't even worth mentioning... unless of course you're a Pelicans' fan! New Orleans continued to roll, nearly building a 30-point lead, until their legs started to tire from making shots all night. Yeah, seriously. Both Joel Meyers and David Wesley mentioned on several occasions that the Pelicans were out of gas to close out the game.
Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday both finished with 27 points, but the future starting point guard (yeah, I'm walking out on a ledge) had the more impressive line. In addition to the points, he added 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 three-pointers.
Ryan Anderson added 26 points, including a stretch of 13 straight in the fourth quarter. Norris Cole finished with 10 after a career-high of 26 against the Cavaliers this past Saturday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with a 19-point and 12-rebound effort.