Pelicans Lose Heartbreaker To Warriors
The New Orleans Pelicans (6-8) entered Tuesday night's game ranked 3rd in the NBA in fewest turnovers. Unfortunately, they turned it over 16 times, which led to 21 points for the Golden State Warriors (9-6). In the end, Golden State escaped New Orleans with a 102-101 victory.
New Orleans won many of the other statistical categories, including FG shooting, 3-point shooting, rebounding, blocks, points in the paint, and FT percentage.
Despite all the turnovers, the Pelicans had a chance to win at the horn. Trailing by 1, point guard Jrue Holiday drove to the glass of a pick by Anthony Davis. The Warriors defense crowded the paint, leaving Eric Gordon (pictured) open on the wing. Holiday found him, and Gordon got off a clean look. Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way, as it bounced inside the rim and out, off the glass, only to spin off the front of the rim and be rebounded by Warriors guard Klay Thompson. He dribbled for a second and time expired. Pelican fans remained in their seats for a few moments, trying to digest that the exciting game was over, and their team had lost.
"Eric gets a wide open looks and it goes down and comes out," explained an emotional Pelicans head coach Monty Williams. "You can't get a more open look than that at the end of the game...Eric made the shot the other day (in win over the Cavs). Tonight he missed it. It's a cruel game."
Gordon finished the game with 16 points and a season-high 7 assists. Holiday scored 17, and dished out 7 assists as well. Davis finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, while fellow starter Jason Smith scored 14 too.
"It hurts," said Holiday. "We got the shot we wanted. It just went in and out."
Ryan Anderson was sensational off the bench for New Orleans, scoring a team-high 21 points and grabbing 12 boards. Tyreke Evans added 12 off the pine as well. The Pelicans bench outscored the Warriors 36-13.
After a blowout loss to San Antonio Monday night, the Pelicans found themselves down by 15 to the Warriors. With aggressive defense and solid 3-point shooting, they were able to close the deficit in the 3rd quarter.
"It was a matter of pride. Obviously we had a disappointing game last (night)," said Holiday. "We've got to grow. We have a lot of heart, and that hurt us (loss to Spurs)...We wanted to come in here and protect our house...coming out in that 2nd half, we cut the deficit pretty quick."
Unfortunately the surging comeback came up just short. Don't blame the Pelicans loss on a lack of effort. Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way, and when it doesn't, it can be a "cruel game".
New Orleans now hits the road for a three-game road wing. Next up, a Friday night matchup in Philadelphia versus the 76ers. Tip-off is set for 7:00.