Pelicans Almost Clip Los Angeles In Overtime
Without Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans played the Los Angeles Clippers into overtime, and they came one shot away from from a win.
Dante Cunningham had a wide open three that would have given the Pelicans a 102-101 victory at the end of regulation. Instead, Jrue Holiday found a way to get three free throw attempts (he hit all three) to force overtime. In that overtime, the Pelicans had a couple chances to take the momentum before Chris Paul (25 points, 11 assists) hit a dagger three to put the game out of reach for the 114-11 win in bonus time.
The Pelicans did almost everything right...but almost isn't enough for Head Coach Alvin Gentry.
"All I'm looking for is what we did today, compete like we did, give ourselves an opportunity to win," Gentry said. "The next big step is we have to make that big play down the stretch."
Jrue Holiday shouldered the offensive load for the Pelicans, posting 29 points (11-27 FG, 6-8 FT), 11 rebounds and four assists. He stepped up in Davis' absence for New Orleans, as well as Tyreke Evans (26 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds), but it still wasn't enough.
There's a reason coaches don't accept moral victories. Moral victories won't save your job at the end of the season.
Gentry might not be winning many games with the Pelicans now at 11-25 on the year, but he's no dummy.
"We just needed one or two more plays, but that's the difference between winning and losing games," Gentry said.
The Clippers had seven different players score in double figures, and it definitely didn't help that the Pelicans only hit 8-30 shots from behind the three point line. Even if a couple of those shots fell, the game would have ended in a win. Yet again, New Orleans can't afford to pat themselves on the back for coming close.
Another bright spot in the game was Ryan Anderson (16 points, 10 rebounds), who played 43 minutes to help fill in for Davis in the post. He was only 5-14 from the floor shooting, but he realized the progress made during the hard fought loss.
"We're learning how to play with that sense of urgency," Ryan Anderson said after the game. He also said, "It's frustrating to lose a game like that but you can't knock our effort."
In a season full of losses, you have to look for the silver linings. At least the team played better as a unit.
Gentry still seems to be disappointed in the team's production, and rightfully so. When Jen Hale asked him about the change in attitude he expects, Gentry didn't shy away from honesty.
"If you're not competing at a high level, then we have to take you out of the game," Gentry said.
If they play like this in their next game in the Staples Center, the Lakers won't be able to keep up. Can they bring the same attitude back on Tuesday?