Pelicans Come Back From Double-Digits To Beat Kings
The Kings had the Pelicans pinned to the mat, but they rallied back from a 17-point deficit to collect the win, 115-112, in New Orleans.
Dante Cunningham's three-pointer with a little over thirty seconds left gave them the lead, and their free throw shooting finished the deal. Norris Cole's assist set up the go-ahead bucket, and it was the shining moment in a fine performance (23 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) for Head Coach Alvin Gentry.
"He said, if I can turn the corner I will. If I can, Dante will be wide open in the corner," Gentry said Cole told him before the play. "I thought he made a great decision and got it to the right person."
Cole, along with Jrue Holiday (20 points, 10 assists), came up with clutch play in the backcourt, and Anthony Davis handled business on the block.
Davis and Demarcus "Boogie" Cousins battled it out in the post all night long. Cousins might have won in the stat sheet (40 points, 16 rebounds), but Davis picked up the win and still collected an impressive double-double (31 points, 10 rebounds). He carried the torch down low for New Orleans, who scored 56 of their 115 points in the paint (full box score).
Offensively, it was encouraging to see four different players around or above 20 points (Davis 31, Cole 23, Holiday 20, Anderson 19), and the defense overcame a poor first half to create turnovers when it really mattered down the stretch.
With the win, the Pelicans improve to 24-38 on the year. It's clearly not where they wanted to be at this point in the season, but every turnaround has to start somewhere. Even if New Orleans can't get themselves back in the playoff picture this season, building momentum into next season can only help with a team centered around a young talent like Davis.