Pelicans Beat Blazers Behind Outstanding Play Of Holiday, Evans, And Davis
As the least experienced team in the NBA, the New Orleans Pelicans (14-15) have shown flashes of a promising future. One thing missing from their resume this season was a signature win. Check that one off the list after the Pelicans defeated the Portland Trail Blazers (24-7) in thrilling fashion by the score of 110-108, much to the delight of home crowd.
The final segment had the entire arena on their feet. Down 108-105, Blazers point guard Damian Lillard hit an extremely long-range 3 pointer to tie the game. Pels coach Monty WIlliams elected not to call a timeout. Tyreke Evans (20 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk) dribbled up the floor, isolated Portland guard Mo Williams in space, and sank a game-winning 17 footer off the dribble with 1.2 seconds remaining.
“I knew I had to be aggressive and make a tough shot,” explained Evans to Fox Sports N.O. reporter Jen Hale. “I hit him with the in and out, he stepped back, and I shot the ball.”
Speaking of shooting the ball, Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans from start to finish, scoring a season-high 31 points, tying a season-high with 13 assists, and pulling down 7 boards. The 4th quarter belonged to Holiday, as he scored 15 on 7-11 shooting, sinking one clutch shot after another.
“He was excellent,” said Evans of Holiday. “He came off the screen and was in control. He made some big shots.”
Anthony Davis was excellent as usual. In 39 minutes, the franchise player scored 27, grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots. His textbook defense on the final Blazers possession against LaMarcus Aldridge forced a potential overtime forcing shot to sail far away from the basket.
Al-Farouq Aminu was active on the glass, pulling down a game-high 15 boards. Ryan Anderson scored 13.
The Pelicans will begin the year 2014 with a tough road trip of 4 game in 7 days, beginning Wednesday night in Minnesota, and ending on January 7th at the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.