Suns Late Run Dooms Pelicans To 6th Straight Loss
Pelicans rookie Jeff Withey played the best game of his young NBA career, helping New Orleans come back from a double-digit second half deficit. Unfortunately, the Pels couldn't hang on to the lead, falling late to the Phoenix Suns 94-88.
Without Anthony Davis (back spasms), the New Orleans Pelicans received solid performances from several young players, standing toe to toe with Phoenix before the Suns ended the game on a 7-0 run.
Withey scored a team-high and career-high 17 points off the bench, going 7-10 from the field. After riding the bench for most of the season, Withey's playing time has picked up over the last month and a half. While he has a tendency to fizzle after he's been on the floor awhile, that wasn't the case Wednesday night. There was also a noticeable difference in his comfort level.
With only 4 games left, players like Withey and Darius Miller want to show the Pelicans staff they belong in their future plans.
“We want to see those guys in real-game situations when we need a bucket or need a stop and see how they respond,” Pelicans head coach Monty Williams said. “They did a good job tonight.”
Miller started for the second time this season, scoring 14 while helping to space the floor for New Orleans' offense.
Considering the Pelicans only had one opening day starter in the lineup, and it was Al-Farouq Aminu (not Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Davis, or Jason Smith), it was solid effort by the young club. Only 4 players came off the bench, scoring 53 points. In addition to Withey's 17, Luke Babbitt scored a season-high 12, Austin Rivers had 10, and emotional leader Anthony Morrow dropped 14.
Phoenix, who is currently hanging on to the 8th and final playoff spot in the West, leaned on their point guard Goran Dragic.
Dragic led all players with 20 points and 9 assists, reminding the league why he should've been an All-Star this season.
New Orleans only has 4 games left in their season, with the next two coming on the road. Friday night, the Pelicans play one of the league's best in the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tip-off is set for 7:00.