For the third time in four games, the New Orleans Pelicans earned the victory. After many decried the franchise was tanking away the rest of the season upon hearing the news of Anthony Davis' season-ending surgery, what say you now? More importantly, as mentioned on April Fool's, some semblance of a win streak to conclude the regular season is looking more and more likely with each passing game. (The pro-tank crowd is going to be furious.)
That said, one o'clock eastern time zone starts in the NBA should be outlawed, especially when both teams are missing all of their stars. Prior to the game, the New Jersey Nets announced they were shutting down Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young for the rest of the season. New Orleans started their day off missing their first 7 shots and talling a quick 5 turnovers. In addition, Omer Asik was forced to take an early seat with 2 personal fouls.
Things couldn't have looked any worse, yet after the horrid display for much of the first quarter, the Pelicans found themselves with a 4-point lead over the Nets at the conclusion of the first twelve minutes, 18-14. The main reason? Brooklyn was even worse: they started the game hitting on just 4 of their first 24 field goal attempts!
The Pelicans really kicked it into high gear during the second quarter, scoring 35 points, and more impressively moved the ball incredibly well (a growing trend with this mash unit of a roster). In the first half, New Orleans had 19 assists on their 20 made field goals, with Tim Frazier leading the way with 8 dimes against no turnovers.
In a further display of dominant play, the Pelicans also outscored the Nets 19-2 in fast break points and 26-14 in the paint.
After an initial slow start out of the locker room, New Orleans found their grove again, and once again it coincided with Frazier on the floor. Before the end of the third quarter, he had notched his second career double-double with his 10th assist coming on a Luke Babbitt three-pointer. Oops @PelicansNBA!
In the fourth, the Nets came out with full-court pressure, but it was to no avail because their tank game was simply much stronger than the Pelicans version on the day. New Orleans finished with their second largest margin of victory and second highest assist total on the season.
Tim Frazier posted his second career double-double, but set career-highs in points (19) and assists (13). Luke Babbitt scored a game-high 21 points, Alexis Ajinca finished with 16 and both Dante Cunningham and James Ennis added 14. In all, six Pelicans finished in double figure scoring.
Stay tuned for Owen's full recap a bit later. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!