Pelicans Hold Off Pesky Pistons In Overtime
New Orleans Pelicans (10-10) forward Tyreke Evans re-sprained his left ankle in last Friday's loss to Oklahoma City. It appeared Evans would be joining young star Anthony Davis on the Pelicans bench for two weeks while recovering from injury. Instead, Evans made a quick recovery, working his coaches to let him play Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons (10-13).
“I iced it (ankle) at home everyday," explained Evans to Fox Sports New Orleans reporter Jen Hale. "We had a few days off and I was able to play.”
He played 24 minutes, putting together an impressive stat line (24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks), and sunk two big free throws in overtime propelling the Pelicans past the Pistons 111-106.
“It’s a little sore but I’m definitely ready to go," said Evans after the win. "Just need to keep icing it.”
His teammate Ryan Anderson might have ice in his veins. The sharp-shooter struggled to find his shot for much of the night, but never shied away from his stroke. In the overtime period, Anderson sunk two three-pointers, and two clutch free throws. He finished the night with 22 points.
"It's important that I stay aggressive on this team," said Anderson. "I think coach has a lot of confidence in me, a lot of faith in me and if I'm passive or if I don't take a shot when I'm open, it could hurt the team."
Starting Center Jason Smith was also active from buzzer to buzzer, pulling down a career-high 16 boards to go with 22 points.
"He was a monster tonight," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said of Smith. "Here's a guy doing it on both ends of the floor, has a career night and just didn't give in."
Without Anthony Davis, the Pelicans worked extremely hard on the glass, outrebounding a big Detroit team 51-43.
Small forward Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in a double-double as well, going for 11 points and 14 rebounds. Point guard Jrue Holiday played smart ball, scoring 19 points on 8-14 from the field, getting clean looks at the basket all night. Shooting guard Eric Gordon added 14.
New Orleans will remain at home for one more game before taking a 5 game road trip out West. The Pelicans host the Memphis Grizzlies (10-11) Friday night. Tip-off is set for 7:00.