Pelicans Win 3rd Straight, Top Pacers In Physical Matchup
In the second game of a back-to-back-to-back, the New Orleans Pelicans earned a hard fought 96-92 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
"Both teams played extremely well defensively," said head coach Alvin Gentry. "They're a really tough team to play...they're very physical."
Held 16 points below their scoring average, New Orleans leaned on their defense to hold Indiana to 36.6 percent shooting from the field.
Anthony Davis had an efficient 28 point, 13 rebound, 5 block game, hitting several critical buckets during crunch time.
"He's taken over plenty of games this year," said guard Jrue Holiday of his running mate. "Down the stretch, in the last 3 to 5 minutes, just being able to be that guy (who takes over)...He takes over in multiple ways."
E'Twaun Moore dropped 23 points, providing reliable offense on a night when it was tough to come by.
Nikola Mirotić added 15. After going 0-7 from beyond the arc, the Pelicans forward nailed back-to-back 3 pointers in the 4th quarter to give the Pelicans the lead.
The victory pulls the Pelicans (42-30) to 5th in the Western Conference, 2.5 games back of 3rd place, and 1.5 games ahead of 8th.
Stamina will be put to the test for New Orleans, as they'll play their third game in three nights Thursday, hosting the resurgent L.A. Lakers.
"It's a mental battle," explained Moore. "We just need to approach it like another game and not think about the tiredness."
Wednesday's game was a make-up date as the Pelicans and Pacers game earlier in the season was postponed due to a leak in the Smoothie King Center roof during a rain storm.
As a result, the Pelicans are the only team in the league forced to play a back-to-back-to-back.
Tip-off Thursday night is set for 7:00.