On 80’s Night at The Blender, Boogie and the Pelicans could not groove their way to a victory.
After multiple missed opportunities for the Pelicans to put the game away in regulation and overtime, the Spurs, led by Kawhi Leonard’s 31 points and his large hands, ended up deflating the balloon in Smoothie King Center, besting the Pelicans in overtime by a final score of 101-98.
The Pelicans Big 3 were responsible for 74 of those points, with Anthony Davis leading way with 29 points, nine rebounds and three assists. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 19 points, a season-high 23 rebounds and four assists. Jrue Holiday, playing for charity, scored 26 points and dropped five dimes. He will donate $31,000 to benefit local tornado victims.
As for the rest of the group, they were invisible. While he clamped down on Leonard well in the 2nd half, Solomon Hill managed a meager stat line of three points, one rebound and one assist in 40 minutes! In all, the five Pelicans who played alongside the Big 3 contributed only 24 points on a frigid 9-28 combined shooting performance (32.1%). The offensive holes on this roster are very real, my friends.
Granted, had the Spurs made a few more three-pointers (22.2%) or free throws (60%), the ending to this game might have not been so painful. Then again, had the referees not fallen for every flop by the Spurs while also blowing a few more whistles on the uncalled hacks on the Pelicans, maybe the result would have been a victory.
Either way, New Orleans now finds themselves five games behind the Denver Nuggets in the loss column with 20 games remaining on the schedule. Suddenly, the 2017 protected first-round pick that was traded to the Kings for Boogie is possibly back in play.
Pelicans are sixth in lottery standings & game out of fourth. They have every incentive to try and keep their pick. Playoff dreams are over. https://t.co/dHkDPgHPFo— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 4, 2017
Anyways, let’s finish this one off with some highlights.
Davis led the Pelicans with 10 points to start the game, sending floater after floater in the face Pau Gasol, and sent the crowd into a frenzy with this dunk.
After briefly exiting for X-rays on his left index finger, he returned, but by that time, it was Boogie’s turn. DeMarcus Cousins dominated the boards in the first half, snatching 11 rebounds in the game’s first 24 minutes. No other player in the game had more than four.
Boogie also made this happen.
Tim Frazier added some extra punch off the bench, playing his usual scrappy self. Gentry only played eight players in the loss to the Spurs, and Frazier’s 9:31 minutes of play gave the team a much needed energizer.
Maybe, though, Frazier should have been utilized more? Jrue Holiday seemed like he was out there on an island all too often. E’Twaun Moore helped in some of his minutes, but when Hill and Hollis Thompson were out there together, the burden was all on Holiday.
DeMarcus Cousins made a three-pointer, but he wound up taking six attempts.
In his post-game comments, Alvin Gentry talked about needing to get the ball down in the post more often. You don’t say...
The Pelicans next play the Lakers at Staples Center on March 5th.