Leading 115-114, Brooklyn had possession and 22 seconds on the clock. New Orleans wasn’t able to foul Jarrett Allen or Jared Dudley, instead somehow forcing Nets guard D’Angelo Russell to turn the ball over out of bounds. Seconds later, Jrue Holiday responded with a game-winning, pull-up jump shot that left only two ticks to spare.
With that shot, and the technical free throw that followed a Solomon Hill-Ed Davis confrontation heading into the game’s final timeout, New Orleans prevailed 117-115 and gained its fourth-consecutive win in as many games.
“Even though we’re on this winning streak, we still had tough games,” Holiday said. “When I say tough, we didn’t shoot well. We didn’t play as well as we could and we can still find a way to win. It’s definitely a confidence builder, especially for this back-to-back and a tough team tomorrow.”
Holiday also hit a game-winner against the Brooklyn Nets nearly three years ago. On Jan. 30, 2015, he drained this go-ahead jumper with 1.3 seconds left to secure a 105-103 victory.
New Orleans shot better than the Nets from the field, but outside shooting and the usual ball movement still lacked. The Pelicans hit on just 9-of-23 behind the arc, while Brooklyn managed to knock down 19 three-pointers in a hot shooting performance. Brooklyn had five players score in double figures and also dominated the boards at a 54-46 advantage.
Anthony Davis didn’t have the shooter’s touch, converting just six of his 19 attempts on his way to an 18-point, 14-rebound performance. However, his five blocked shots helped him eclipse the 1000-block mark for his career. Davis is the 16th NBA player to reach the milestone in 414 games or less.
Holiday finished with 26 points and five assists. Elfrid Payton notched 17 points, six assists and five rebounds, continuing to prove his fit in the Pelicans’ system. E’Twaun Moore and Julius Randle added 15 and 14 points respectively.
“We’ve got an owner that cares about our team,” head coach Alvin Gentry said after the victory. “He also cares about the Saints. He just pushed a field goal a little bit right a couple days ago, and then he just tapped the ball out of bounds for us, so we’ve got to thank Mr. Benson for that one.”
It was the first of five games within seven days for the Pelicans. Next up for New Orleans is a Western Conference battle against the Utah Jazz on the second leg of a back-to-back. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the Smoothie King Center.