Pelicans avenge loss to Wizards, end losing skid
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans ended their current four-game losing streak, and a seven-game losing streak to the Washington Wizards with a 125-104 victory at the Smoothie King Center Wednesday night.
The 21-point margin was the largest for the Pels so far this season.
After being outscored 70-44 in the paint against the Wizards five nights ago with Anthony Davis sidelined, New Orleans dominated inside to the tune of 62-38 on Wednesday.
New Orleans also had big advantages in total rebounds (64-38) and fast break points (26-8). They also grabbed 17 offensive rebounds which were converted into 28 second chance points.
The Pelicans got a boost from an unlikely source. Tim Frazier was inserted into the starting lineup to release some of the pressure on Jrue Holiday and he responded with 12 points, 12 assists, and six rebounds while turning it over just three times in 36 minutes.
Three Pelicans scored at least 20 points, led by Holiday’s 29. Anthony Davis, who missed the last meeting between these teams, added 28 points and 15 boards. Julius Randle came off the bench to get 23 and 12.
Niko Mirotic (15) and E’Twaun Moore (10) also scored in double figures.
New Orleans-area native Kelly Oubre Jr. and Markeiff Morris led the Wizards with 22 points each. John Wall and Bradley Beal were limited to a combined 33 points on 13-28 shooting (2-11 from deep).
Alvin Gentry thought the his team took a step towards regaining its identity with the performance.
“This is kind of the way we started the season playing,” said Gentry. “All of sudden we became just kind of a jogging team, we weren’t really a running team. I thought tonight we did a much better job of getting out and running, and getting to open spots.”
New Orleans led 67-47 at the half, reversing a trend of slow starts that has plagued the Pelicans this year.
Holiday immediately showed his appreciation for being moved off the ball by scoring 11 of the Pelicans’ first 14 points, finishing with 16 in the half.
Holiday is a really good shooting guard, a first-team All-NBA defender and an emergency point guard.
New Orleans (11-11) will go on the road to face the Miami Heat on Friday and the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, before hosting the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Clippers next Monday.
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David Grubb has more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. He began his career with KLAX-TV in Alexandria, La. and followed that up with a stint as an reporter and anchor with WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. After spending a few years away from the industry, David worked as sports information director for Southern University at New Orleans…