Pelicans Snap 8 Game Skid with 132-125 Road Victory over Lakers

Published: March 5, 2014

First things first – this victory was by no means a pretty one. The Pelicans were in complete control halfway through the third quarter, up by 19 and getting to the rim at will. However, the defense slipped from that point forward and the Lakers made this game much closer than it should have been. In the end, though, New Orleans did enough to hang on and rid themselves of a frustrating eight game losing streak, notching their first win since the All-Star break.

Before we discuss the ugliness that was the Pelicans letting the Lakers back into this game, let’s look at the good things that happened tonight. From start to finish, nearly every New Orleans perimeter player attacked the rim with regularity. Their shot chart does a good job of painting that picture:

pelicans shot chart


The Pelicans shot a scintillating 70% at the rim, with the starting back court trio of Roberts, Gordon, and Evans combining for 71 points on 40 shots. That’s 1.75 points per field goal attempt, folks. Sure, the Lakers’ interior defense is a total joke, but New Orleans could have easily played overly passive and failed to truly capitalize on this deficiency for Los Angeles. Props to the guards for not letting up (including Rivers), and particularly for Evans who continues to play great as a starter. Of course, then we get to Anthony Davis, who wreaked absolute havoc on offense as well as on the glass all game long. He finished with 28 points on 16 attempts to go along with 15 rebounds, 3 assists, a block, and a turnover. As a team, the Pelicans attempted 40 free throws tonight and made 33 of them, which was huge in hanging on for the victory.

Now, the bad news. The Lakers – a team whose five most heavily used players tonight were Kent Bazemore, Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, & Jordan Farmar – scored 74 points in the second half. That total is simply inexcusable. The Lakers out-rebounded the Pelicans 17-16 in the second half, which is pretty embarrassing given how bad Los Angeles is at collecting missed shots. The result was a 36-20 second half advantage in points in the paint for the Lakers, another category that should not have been particularly close. The Lakers scored 13 fast break points in the half compared with 0 for the Pelicans. Even though the Lakers utilize Gasol as their only big man on the court for many stretches, the Pelicans for the most part refused to do the same with Davis, repeatedly throwing immobile guys like Ajinca and Stiemsma out there. Hard to believe that better second half player rotations for the Pelicans wouldn’t have kept the Lakers from getting back into the game (that or giving Anthony Davis more than one field goal attempt in the 4th quarter apart from shots after his own offensive rebounds).

The Pelicans return home on Friday night to take on the team with the worst record in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks. Get your tickets now to see if New Orleans can win two consecutive games for the first time in a month.


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