Pelicans Fall To Pacers In Opener
The New Orleans Pelicans (0-1) era began in style. A sold-out crowd at the New Orleans Arena witnessed a new brand of exciting basketball. The Pelicans took the floor Wednesday night in the Crescent City, building a sizable first-half lead, outscoring Indiana 50-36 after two quarters, shooting 46% from the floor and 67% from beyond the arc in the first 24 minutes.
Unfortunately, the second half was a different story, as the Pacers (2-0) outscored the Pels by 19, including a 36-24 advantage in the fourth frame. As a result, a 42 minute New Orleans lead faltered down the stretch.
“I just didn’t think that we had an understanding of the moment in the fourth quarter,” explained Pelicans head coach Monty Williams. “We just didn’t have the execution in the 4th quarter like we’d had (in previous 3 quarters)…for a young team, it’s certainly something that we can grow from.”
Despite the loss, there were several impressive performances by the home team. Point guard Jrue Holiday didn’t disappoint in his Pelicans debut, scoring 24 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists. Eric Gordon led all Pelicans with 25 points, looking healthy and quick.
Anthony Davis reminded everyone that he is the future of the franchise, registering a double-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
What the Pelicans didn’t get Wednesday night was a 4th player excelling offensively. With Ryan Anderson unavailable due to a toe injury, no one in a New Orleans uniform could find a consistent shot. Small forward Tyreke Evans will be counted on this season to provide scoring off the bench, but couldn’t find his rhythm against Indiana, only scoring 4 in his Pelicans debut.
New Orleans will try to register their first win Friday night in Orlando when they face the Magic (0-2). Tip-off is set for 6:00.