Pelicans Dominate Lakers, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
The New Orleans Pelicans pulled within 1.5 games of the Oklahoma City Thunder for 8th place in the Western Conference after dominating the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night 113-92.
Anthony Davis (pictured) led the way, stuffing the stat sheet with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks and a steal.
"When we move the ball like we did tonight and limit our turnovers, we're a tough team to beat," said Davis to Fox Sports reporter Jen Hale following the win. "And when we play good defense."
New Orleans defense in the first quarter was lacking, picking up slightly in the second quarter, before reaching an acceptable level in the second half.
"We pride ourselves on defense," explained Davis. "In the second half we (put) an emphasis on playing defense and let our offense come to us."
Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson returned to the lineup after an 18 game absence due to a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Anderson let the game come to him, playing well in 22 minutes of action.
"He spaces the floor for everybody," said Davis of Anderson. "He's able to shoot the ball so well and when he does that, it makes things a lot easier. He came back like he never left."
In his return, Anderson scored 17 points, including 2-4 from beyond the arc. Norris Cole added 17 points off the bench as well.
Tyreke Evans scored 17, while Eric Gordon and Quincy Pondexter both finished with 10. Starting center Omer Asik scored 8, pulling down 10 boards.
New Orleans swept the Lakers in 4 matchups this season, a first in franchise history. More importantly, the victory improves the Pelicans record to 40-34, a game and a half behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (42-33), who fell to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
"As long as they (OKC) keep losing and we keep winning, I'm happy," said a smiling Davis.
Pelicans fans feel the same way.