Pelicans Drop 4th Straight In Loss To Rockets, Playoff Hopes On Life Support
With their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the New Orleans Pelicans missed a golden opportunity Wednesday night versus the Houston Rockets, losing 95-93 to drop their 4th game in a row.
Things looked good early for New Orleans, who opened the game by forcing turnovers in getting into transition on offense, leading to 8 fast break points in the opening quarter, and an impressive 34-19 advantage on the scoreboard heading into the second.
The following three quarters were a different story, as the Pelicans only managed 2 fast break points and were outscored 59-36 in quarters two and three.
"We came out shooting the ball well and moving the ball well," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "Then after that, the ball stopped moving. We only had 20 assists for the game."
The free throw line was another struggle for New Orleans, a surprise considering who struggled the most.
Superstar Anthony Davis, a reliable free throw shooter at 83% on the season, went 6-14 at the line. As a team, New Orleans shot 20-32 from the charity stripe.
Davis finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds, giving the Pelican fans a scare in the 4th quarter when he left the game in the 4th quarter after his previously injured right shoulder collided with Rockets forward Corey Brewer. Trainers took him to the locker room before Davis returned to the floor several minutes later.
Tyreke Evans led all scorers with 28 points, scoring 17 in the first half.
James Harden led the Rockets with 25, put took 20 shots to do it.
Overall, the Rockets used effective spacing on offense, while applying pressure constantly on the other end of the floor.
"Their pressure had us on our heels after the first quarter," noted Williams.
With the loss, New Orleans falls to 37-34, a half game back of the Phoenix Suns for 9th place in the Western Conference and 3.5 games back of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West with 11 games remaining.
New Orleans' schedule lightens up, with a Friday home game versus the Sacramento Kings, followed by a Sunday matinee with the Minnesota Timberwolves.