Gasol Too Much As Grizzlies Top Pelicans
Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies spoiled Tyreke Evans' season debut topping the Pelicans 113-104 on Tuesday night in New Orleans.
A career-high 38 points and 13 rebounds for Gasol negated a solid game by Evans (20 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds), who played for the first time in this season after undergoing knee surgery in October.
"I think there were a few bright spots," said Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry. "It was good to have Tyreke back."
Backup point guard Norris Cole also made his season debut after missing the first 17 games with a high ankle sprain.
Gentry was happy to have 13 available players for the first time this season, but the return of both Evans and Cole led to confusion, timing issues, and missed defensive assignments at times as the cohesion still needs work.
"We've got to do a better job defensively," explained Gentry. "We've got do to a better job of rebounding the basketball. That's the bottom line."
Memphis finished with 13 offensive rebounds and 52 points in the paint, out grinding the Pelicans inside.
"They're a very physical team," said Gentry. "We didn't do a very good job of matching their physicality."
Anthony Davis put up a solid stat line of 17 points, 14 rebounds and 9 blocks, but struggled from the field (4-15) and missed 5 free throws.
With the loss, New Orleans falls to 4-14.
"I'm pissed (about being 10 games below .500)," added Gentry. "I've got to do a better job of getting these guys ready to play and they've got to do a better job of following the game plan. I take responsibility for where we are. I'm the coach of the team. Some kind of way, I've got to get through to these guys to where we get better defensively."
The Pelicans travel to Houston tonight for a matchup with the Rockets on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 7:00.