Pelicans Blowout 76ers, Ryan Anderson Sensational In Return
Riding a 3-game losing streak, the New Orleans Pelicans needed a win in a big way. Saturday night at the New Orleans Arena, they walloped the Philadelphia 76ers 135-98.
Ryan Anderson made his season debut after missing the first 8 games of the season with a toe injury. If he was rusty, Pelican fans would love to see what he looks like fresh. In 27 minutes off the bench, Anderson led all scorers with 26, making his first 4 shots, and going 6-10 from beyond the arc. And it wasn’t just offense that Anderson provided.
“He (Anderson) can space the floor, shoot the ball, defend, and rebound. That’s what we needed,” explained Pelicans forward Anthony Davis to Fox Sports N.O. analyst David Wesley. “He’s a spark off that bench with the second unit and he gets that second team going. It was tough without him, but now that we’ve got him, we’ve got to keep this going.”
Davis did it all as well. With three minutes left in the third quarter, he sat on the bench with a giant lead, resting for the rest of the night. Had he played in the fourth, he likely would’ve registered a triple-double. In only 29 minutes, Davis scored 13, pulled down 9 boards, and set a new career-high with 8 blocks. Despite his continued dominance, his focus in postgame was on his teammates, especially Anderson.
“I’m proud of Ryan. In his first game back, he’s out here playing hard and defending. That’s what we need,” said Davis. “We need guys playing like that for 48 minutes each game. When we do that, we’re a tough team to beat.”
New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday finished with a double-double (14 points, 12 assists) against his former team, leading the Pelicans on both sides of the floor. It was his first matchup against Philly since they traded him for rookie Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first round draft pick.
The Pels had their best offensive night of the season, scoring a season-high and shooting a season-high percentage of 60.5% from the field. In total, 8 players reached double-figures. Joining Anderson, Davis, and Holiday were Eric Gordon (19) Tyreke Evans (15) Brian Roberts (14) and Austin Rivers (12).
New Orleans (4-6) will try to match their energy next Wednesday when they host the Utah Jazz (1-10). Tip-off is set for 7:00.