Undermanned Pelicans Narrowly Lose To Suns
Playing without superstar Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans lost a heartbreaker to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, 74-72.
As has been the norm for New Orleans, the injury bug bit them again. Davis sprained his ankle Thursday morning during a shootaround while going through a routine workout walk-through. The Pelicans staff called it a "fluke".
With point guard Jrue Holiday and power forward Ryan Anderson already out with injuries, and Davis joining them on the bench in street clothes, starting center Omer Asik was on a roll, scoring 6 points and pulling down 14 rebounds in only 19 minutes on the floor. In a surprise to no one, Asik strained his calf, leaving the game early in second half.
"That's the sport, though," said Pelicans guard Norris Cole of the injuries. "Yes it's tough when guys go out, but we don't want to use it as an excuse."
So they didn't, grinding away at the defensive minded Suns.
With less than 10 seconds to go, Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans missed a short jumper that would've given New Orleans a 1 point lead with seconds remaining. As the ball slipped off the rim, Suns forward P.J. Tucker jumped into Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca's back to grab the rebound.
Pelicans guard Eric Gordon scored a team-high 14 points in the loss, while Cole added 12 and Ajinca scored 10.
With the loss, New Orleans (37-31) falls one game out of the 8 spot in the Western Conference behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-30).
The road gets tougher for the Pelicans, as they play the Golden State Warriors on the back end of a road back to back Friday night. Golden State (54-13) owns the NBA's best record.