Short Handed Pelicans Handle Kings As Anderson Soars
Ryan Anderson lived up to his "flame thrower" nickname, scoring 18 points in the first quarter, 30 in the first half, and a career-high 36 points for the New Orleans Pelicans, who upended the Sacramento Kings 114-105.
"The guys did a good job of finding me early tonight," said Anderson after the win. "The most important thing is we won. We won. That's what's most important."
A win that seemed difficult to procure an hour before tip-off when New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry announced All-Star Anthony Davis (concussion) and guard Tyreke Evans (knee) would be missing the game. The Pelicans were already without Eric Gordon (finger) for a month, meaning the Pelicans would be without 3 starters.
A starting lineup of Anderson, Alonzo Gee, Omer Asik, Norris Cole and Bryce Dejean-Jones, who signed a 10 day contract with the team last week, surprisingly propelled the Pelicans to an 18-2 run early, giving them an 18 point first quarter lead.
"I thought it was another good team win. Obviously, Ryan was great, but I thought the other guys stepped up," said Gentry. "I was happy with the way everyone played."
Cole finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards. Dejean-Jones added 14 points while Gee scored 10. Asik cleaned up on the glass, finished with 13 rebounds and 8 points.
Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday came off the bench for 25 points and 8 assists in 34 minutes of play.
"It's definitely a big win for us," noted Holiday. "This homestand has been great for us...we've been playing hard and playing for each other."
It marked the 5th game of a 7 game homestand for the Pels, who have won 4 of 5, improving their record Thursday to 17-28, three games behind the 8th place team in the Western Conference.
Next up, a Saturday night showdown with the Brooklyn Nets (12-34). Tip-off is set for 6:00.