Pelicans Win Fourth Straight In Thriller Over Miami
The New Orleans Pelicans, minus Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson, won their fourth straight game over the Miami Heat...because of course they did.
In an NBA season filled with losses to unworthy opponents and wins over top-tier talent, the New Orleans Pelicans are currently writing another chapter in their weird season story. Not to put the 25-32 Miami Heat into the class of "top-tier talent," but four straight wins without your stars is far from expected in any level of professional sports.
Alexis Ajinca stepped up hugely in the 104-102 victory at home in The Blender, with 24 points and 8 rebounds in only 22 minutes on the court. He put in the go-ahead bucket on a pick-and-roll play with Eric Gordon on the Pels' last offensive possession, then Quincy Pondexter locked down defensively to salt the game away. It wasn't a matchup between playoff contenders, but it had playoff intensity toward the end.
The game was tied, 54-54, at halftime, then the Pelicans battled back from a hot third quarter from Miami to head into the final two minutes of the game with it all tied up. It was a gutsy performance without their stars, and the "next men up" absolutely delivered to continue the win streak.
Not only did Pondexter lock down defensively to end the game, he also dropped in 18 points to go with a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double from Dante Cunningham. New addition Norris Cole struggled though, missing all ten of his shots from the floor and finishing with only three points.
Tyreke Evans went about with business as usual, despite fouling out in the final minute on an obvious charge call when the game was still in swing. The aggressive point-forward continued to share the ball with 11 assists, and he completed his own double-double with 19 points as well.
The team shot over 50% (39-76 FG, 51.3%) and sported an impressive 26:20 assist-to-turnover ratio. Monty Williams will sleep well after an offensive performance like that.
The win improves New Orleans to an impressive 20-10 at home in the Smoothie King Center, and 31-27 on the season.