Pelicans Second Half Surge Leads To Victory Over Timberwolves
In a nationally televised ESPN game, Pelicans forward Anthony Davis showed the world why his All-Star selection was the right one.
On the same day Davis learned he was replacing an injured Kobe Bryant on the All-Star team, he dropped his 23rd double-double of the season, going for 26 points and 10 rebounds, helping New Orleans erase a 10-point 4th quarter deficit, and defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-91 at the Smoothie King Center. All in all, it was a good day for the 20-year old.
“It’s great man. We’ve got to keep pushing. You can’t get too happy, but at the same time, you’ve got to enjoy it,” explained Davis. “We’re fighting. We’re grinding each and every night and coming up with big-time wins.”
Despite missing 3 of their 6 leading scorers in Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, and Jason Smith (all injured), the Pels have managed to win 6 of 8. Friday night’s win wasn’t easy, as Timberwolves All-Star big man Kevin Love was doing work.
Love finished with his 42nd double-double of the season (most in NBA) finishing with 26 points and 19 rebounds, getting to the free throw line 17 times. As a team, the Pelicans only reached the charity strip 16 times.
The free throws kept Minnesota ahead most of the night, but a late 4th quarter surge, which saw Davis score 10, and Eric Gordon make clutch shot after clutch shot. Gordon only had 4 first half points, but scored 16 in the second half, helping the Pelicans spread the floor offensively with a good mix of dribble penetration and outside shots.
“I got up more shots in the second half. I’m always going to shoot a decent field goal percentage,” said Gordon. “The more shots I get up, the easier it is for me.”
Newly acquired forward Luke Babbitt made his debut for New Orleans, only scoring 3 points on 1 shot. However, his threat of hitting 3s allowed the Pelicans to open up the middle of the floor on offense, leading to big plays at the basket.
The Pelicans (22-27) now hit the road for 3 games before the All-Star break, starting Sunday night when they battle the Brookly Nets. Tip-off is set for 5:00.