Pels Out-Tanked in 99-91 Win over New York

Not a lot of defense and not a lot of good offense led to competitive match (on the scoreboard at least) between two teams who seem to have called it a season early. But to the Pelicans credit, their bad defensive possessions and offensive struggles didn’t stem from motivational issues, the team came out and competed the same way they have the last week or so, it just so happened they ran into a New York team who couldn’t put anything together, besides the longest, unnecessary final minute of fouling ever. The win keeps the Pelicans two wins ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who also won a close game against a team hoping for losses in Phoenix. The win was the first of the season for the Pels without reaching 100 points.

The Pelicans did their best to attack, and it paid off as they shot 24 more Free Throws than the Knicks (13 to 37), but many of those came in said final minute, which was literally a 19-minute minute. Holiday led the way with 22pts, 6asts, 6rebs, and an “eye” injury from taking a Porzingis elbow. He scored 10 of those 22 in the 4th quarter with some impressive drives and a clutch contested jumper. Luke Babbitt continued to have success with his minutes, hitting 4/6 shots for 14 points in 24 minutes of action. Toney Douglas had 16 points on 10 shots off the bench, and Gee was on his way to a nice night before leaving with an injury (nothing too serious). He finished with 9 points on 50% shooting and broken confidence after this:

On the other side of things Carmelo led the Knicks with 22 points (on 22 shots) and Porzingis had himself a nice night: 16pts, 10rebs, 3blks, 2stls, and 2asts in 35 minutes. The rookie put on a show, at least in the 1st half. New York was shooting over 50% as a team at halftime, but came out and put up just 10 points in the 3rd quarter and then gave up 31 in the 4th in truly spectacular tank-form.

Omer Asik only saw 8 minutes tonight, with both Alexis Ajinca and Kendrick Perkins getting over 20, putting more doubt about his place in the future plans. Kendrick Perkins didn’t record a single shot the entire time he was on the floor, but he did knock down 3/4 FTs, grab 8 boards, and played point guard for a play. Tim Frazier struggled in his 23 minutes, hitting only 1 of 7 shots, and Jordan Hamilton wasn’t much of a factor tonight either.

In his post-game interview, the win seemed to give Alvin Gentry a boost, as he found a way to joke about the ever-growing list of Pelican injuries. At one point in the game, a young fan ran on the court to give Melo a hug, but all that came to mind for the often frustrated head coach was “I hope he doesn’t fall and get injured.” That was just one of many jokes I found myself quietly chuckling to. Wins, whether you want them or not, do lighten the mood.

Next up for the Pelicans is the San Antonio Spurs, who have been on a “rest” streak of late, Wednesday night in San Antonio, tip off is for 7:30 CT.

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