Pelicans’ All Around Effort Too Much for Grizzlies

Published: January 9, 2015

4 Pelicans players score 20 or more points (5 in double digits) and 6 players grab 5 or more rebounds as the Pelicans record their 5th divisional win of the season, 1 more than the entirety of last season.  The win puts the Pels back at .500 and keeps them a half-game ahead of OKC in the Western Playoff Race.

Before the game I listed 3 things the Pels would need to do to come away with a win:

  1. Win the Turnover Battle – This was largely a non-factor as the Pels (10TO) and Grizz(11TO) both made it a point of emphasis to protect the ball tonight.  Both teams had been struggling in recent losses with turnovers, but that was not the case tonight
  2. Front-Court Fight – This game was one of big name big-men.  Asik, Davis, and Anderson did a great job of containing and making life difficult for Gasol and Randolph tonight.  Anderson and Davis kept Randolph out of the game offensively (11pt, 4/9 from the field), and Asik kept Gasol off the glass (4rebs) and off the court actually, as Gasol found himself in foul trouble often.
  3. Outside Shooting – as the 2nd and 3rd ranked offenses in terms of points in the paint canceled each other out with 44 apiece, it was the Pelicans outside shooting that kept the offense going.  10/20 from deep for the Pels compared to 6/17 for Memphis was a big factor

Some Notes on the Game:

  • The Pelicans started out with a new lineup, sending Tyreke to the bench and giving Cunningham his first start of the season.  The Holiday-Gordon-Cunningham-Davis-Asik lineup seemed to be a good one as the team started the game on a 9-0 run and won the first quarter 31-19.
    • Gordon came out hot, scoring 8 of his 13 in the first quarter.  He ended the night 5/7 from the field and 3/4 from 3.
    • Tyreke seemed fine coming off the bench, putting up 21pts, 10rebs, and 5asts in 33 minutes of action.
  • Cunningham’s defense and hustle really made a difference in this game.  He didn’t score a single point, but his 7 rebounds (4 offensive) and 3 blocks seemed to fuel the Pelicans on.  His play has earned him a larger role on the team since joining about a month ago, he logged 32 minutes tonight.
  • The Pels led the whole way.  The closest Memphis got was within 1 about halfway through the 2nd quarter.
    • Memphis opened the 2nd on a 12-2 run.  With 7:46 left in the half, Asik and Holiday checked in for Ajinca and Rivers (who had another rough night) as Koufos made it 30-33 at the line (followed by a jump-shot by Carter to close it to 33-32).  The Pels would go on a 19-9 run to close the half after the defensive duo came in, Memphis would never get another chance to take the lead.
  • Jrue Holiday was my MVP, leading all scorers and assisters on the night.  He also brought his A game defensively, highlighted by a fantastic steal and buzzer beating layup to end the first half.

The Pels put together a great team performance to bounce back to .500 before a 5-game road trip out East.  Hopefully this is a win they can build off.


Next up is Boston Monday night.


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