Pelicans Rally From 18 Down to Stun Grizzlies

Published: March 7, 2015

The Pelicans rallied back from as many as 18 down to beat the Southwest Division-leading Memphis Grizzlies to equal their win total from last season with 19 games still to play.  The win moves New Orleans within a half game of Oklahoma City and the 8th seed, and brings their South West Division record to 7-5 and 5-1 at home.

Both teams came in having played the night before, but the Pelicans looked the more sluggish of the two to begin the game, with 9 turnovers in the first quarter. In fact, New Orleans finished the half with 13 turnovers and 15 made field goals for just 38 points.

But everything changed after the half.  Tyreke Evans came out of the locker room a new man, and scored 12 points to go along with 4 assists in the 3rd as the Pels opened the half on a 22-7 run and won the 3rd quarter 33-17.  Evans led all scorers with 26 points, shooting 10/16 from the field.  Davis added 10 points on 5/7 from the field in the 3rd quarter run, and finished with 23 points, 10 rebound, and 5 blocks.

Eric Gordon only took 6 shots all night, but hit 4 of them (3 from deep) and made all 5 of his free throws for a very efficient 16 points and 6 assists.

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph were held to a combined 15 points on 29.4% shooting as Memphis only managed to score 89 on the night.

Before the game I mentioned 3 things the Pels would need to do to get a win tonight, lets see how they did:

  • Protect the Ball – The Pelicans recorded 18 turnovers for the second straight night, but were able to adjust at half time to overcome their sloppy play early. Only 5 turnovers in the 2nd half. They also managed to force 14 turnovers, leading to 20 points for New Orleans to help cover their own mistakes.
  • Scoring Droughts – Again just look at the difference from the first half to the second.  In the 1st they struggled just getting decent looks, and despite the Pelicans’ huge run in the 3rd the Grizzlies remained composed and even retook the lead in the 4th. But they found a way to answer every Memphis bucket in the 2nd half and hold onto the lead. The Grizzlies and Pelicans are the top two teams in scoring in the paint, and thanks to an aggressive offense in the 2nd, the Pels managed to win the paint battle 42-40.
  • Davis – Though the team came out discombobulated, they finally burst out of their offensive slump.  Davis was the focus of the offense, but the ball moved around and the Pels’ role players like Cole, Pondexter, Asik, and Ajinca all got involved and were put in positions where they could make a impact on the game when it mattered.

Next up for the Pels is a road game in Milwaukee on Monday, and then they travel to Brooklyn for a matchup against the Nets Tuesday.  BSS has a watch party for Tuesday night’s game at Tracey’s on Magazine street, so flock up and come on down!


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