Pelicans Fight Hard, But Fall To Thunder In OKC
With only 9 players in uniform, the injury depleted New Orleans Pelicans were battling the Oklahoma City Thunder for 48 minutes on Wednesday night, threatening to steal an improbable victory.
However, playing in their second game of a home/road back to back, the Pelicans couldn't overcome Russell Westbrook and an extreme free throw discrepancy, falling to OKC by the score of 110-103.
"I thought we played hard and competed like crazy," said Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry.
Effort and fight was evident, but the reality of a 1-11 record is an ugly reminder of how difficult it is to win in the NBA when you're missing Anthony Davis, Omer Asik, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Norris Cole, Quincy Pondexter and Kendrick Perkins due to injury/health.
"We got good shots," said Gentry after the latest defeat. "We shot it a little bit short and that's a bi-product of guys playing so many extended minutes, tired legs and stuff like that. I thought they gave everything they could possibly give."
While the players gave everything they could, the refs couldn't give the Pelicans too many whistles.
Ryan Anderson was great for New Orleans, finishing with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, but didn't shoot a single free throw, despite getting hit in the paint on numerous occasions.
New Orleans was 9-9 from the charity stripe. Oklahoma City was 27-40.
"Russell (Westbrook) made some really, tough, difficult shots," said Gentry. "There's not much you can do about that."
Westbrook scored a game-high 43 points, adding 9 rebounds and 8 assists for a Thunder currently playing without an injured Kevin Durant.
The Pelicans head back to New Orleans for a Friday night showdown with the San Antonio Spurs. Tip-off from the Smoothie King Center is set for 7:00.