With two battling frontcourts, this game remained close throughout. New Orleans’ struggles came mainly at the hands of poor ball security from Cousins and Jrue Holiday, who combined for 15 of the team’s 23 turnovers. Even so, Cousins led the Pelicans with 35 points on 14-of-23 (60.9%) shooting along with 15 rebounds and four assists. Holiday, on the other hand, disappeared in comparison to his breakout 34-point performance against the Toronto Raptors. Holiday recorded just six points, shooting a poor 16.7% from the field.
Anthony Davis added 25 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks while E’Twaun Moore chipped in 18 points and four rebounds.
During his first outing in five games, Cheick Diallo notched a season-high nine points to go with six boards that will become more and more valuable moving forward if he can emerge as a useable third-big option.
For Los Angeles, forward Blake Griffin provided 26 points, four rebounds and six assists. However, Griffins offensive responsibility seemed a bit much against New Orleans as he went 9-of-27 overall and 2-of-8 from three-point range. Former Pelican guard Austin Rivers went on a run late, ultimately scoring a respectable 19 points.
With the Clippers’ roster currently suffering so many critical injuries, one would have expected New Orleans to take more advantage. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, allowing a multitude of opportunities for Los Angeles at the line (27 FTA) paired with 23 turnovers that led to 33 points for the Clippers prevented such a run from happening.
After the game, the Pelicans were positive that should the team improve their decision making with the ball they can start to dominate play.
“We’re going to have to do something about our turnovers,” said Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “That’s really just the only thing that is hurting us. I think the offensive rebounding thing we’ve taken care of. The only thing left for us to do is make sure we’re not turning the ball over. 23 turnovers and 33 points is way too many. We shoot the ball well. We shoot 54%, 38% from the three and 26 assists. Like I said, if we eliminate those turnovers I think you see a team that could really win a lot of games.”
When asked about how the team could reduce the amount of turnovers, Jrue Holiday said: “Go back and look at the turnovers we were making. Learn from them and not make them again. I guess hopefully then we can go out and blow people out.”
New Orleans also understands the importance of winning at home, improving 7-6 overall with two games left in this home-stand coming against the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors.
“You’ve got to find a way to win at home and it doesn’t matter what happens,” Gentry said. “Obviously, you want to play well and you want to not turn the ball over, but there are just going to be some games where you’ve just got to grind it out and find a way to win.”
New Orleans faces the Atlanta Hawks next at home on Monday, November 13. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. central.