Pelicans fall to Wizards for seventh straight defeat
The swoon continues. Make it seven straight losses for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Washington came into New Orleans and handled the Pelicans 113-103 for their fifth straight win Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center.
The Wizards won almost every meaningful category.
Washington shot 45 percent from the field to 42 percent for New Orleans.
The Wizards whipped New Orleans 53-42 on the boards.
Washington outscored New Orleans 22-17 from the free throw line and 33-24 from 3-point range. The Wizards also controlled second chance points by a 25-11 margin.
You get the picture.
The Pelicans were hurt an ebyarly ejection of Jonas Valanciunas for a Flagrant 2 foul just four minutes into the second quarter. Valanciunas only played nine minutes.
The Pool Report interview was conducted by Will Guillory (The Athletic) with Crew Chief Marc Davis following tonight’s Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans game.
QUESTION: “How did you come to the determination that the Jonas Valanciunas foul was a Flagrant 2?”
DAVIS: “Replay determined that the elbow to the head of [Taj] Gibson met the criteria for a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2, which is unnecessary and excessive contact. All three elements were present, in that there was windup (the thrown elbow), impact (elbow to the head and above the shoulders of Gibson) and follow-through. This met all the criteria for a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 and he was ejected as per rule.”
QUESTION: “What made it the difference between a Flagrant 2 and a Flagrant 1?”
DAVIS: “A Flagrant 2 is unnecessary and excessive contact. A Flagrant Foul Penalty 1 is just unnecessary contact. All three elements being present, and the elbow above the shoulders and to the head of Gibson warranted a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2.”
How much did that hurt New Orleans?
Valanciunas scored 27 points and 12 rebounds in a 132-112 win at Washington on Jan. 9, dominating inside as the Wizards had no one who could physically match up with Valanciunas.
The Wizards led 32-30 after one quarter and 59-50 by halftime. It was 88-74 after three quarters.
The Pelicans wen on a 10-0 run after trailing 96-80 in the fourth quarter to pull within six points and even got closer at 97-92 but got no closer.
New Orleans was 0 for 8 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter and the Pelicans were just 8 of 29 (29 percent) from beyond the arc in the game.
Brandon Ingram scored 22 points, making 8 of 22 field goal attempts, including just 1 of 5 from 3-point range.
CJ McCollum led New Orleans with 24 points while Trey Murphy was the only other player in double figures with 10 points.
New Orleans has now lost 10 of 13 games without Zion Williamson, who is not likely to return for at least 10 to 14 more days.
The swoon is likely to continue as the Pelicans have to play the second of a back-to-back at Milwaukee Sunday evening against an elite team and likely without Ingram, who, just back from injury, is not expected to play in back-to-back games. Then comes a game at Western Conference leader Denver.
You knew it would take time for Ingram to return to top form and for his teammates to find chemistry with the star after he missed over 30 games. The Pelicans are still searching and they better find that chemistry soon.
At one point, New Orleans led the Western Conference.
Now, the Pelicans are 26-24 are staring at the six spot and perhaps lower.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…