Pelicans finally get it right on the road, drop Hornets 119-109
It has been an ugly picture.
The Pelicans entered Sunday’s game at Charlotte just 2-10 on the road. Only four teams had worst road marks in the entire NBA.
The problems were obvious.
New Orleans simply has not defended well enough, has not rebounded consistently enough, has not gotten productivity from the bench, shot the ball poorly from distance and has failed by committing a rash of turnovers.
Anthony Davis saw to it that New Orleans was victorious against a team that bears the name of the one he started his career with in New Orleans. Davis pumped in 36 points, pulled down 19 rebounds and tied a career high with eight assists in a 119-109 victory over the Hornets.
Jrue Holiday had 19 points and eight assists while Niko Mirotic had 16 points and eight rebounds. Tim Frazier did the job at the point with nine assists and just one turnover.
The bench provided a big lift.
Per usual, Julius Randle was productive with 13 points and nine rebounds but he got a lot of help from Darius Miller, who added 13 points. Solomon Hill even contributed six points.
New Orleans shot 51 percent from the field, which will get it done on the road as well. The Pelicans controlled the boards by a 50-41 bulge and had a 50-46 edge on points in the paint. New Orleans held the Hornets to just 43 percent shooting from the field, including only 28 percent from 3-point range. New Orleans limited Charlotte star Kemba Walker to just 13 points.
The only negative was 18 turnovers. Fortunately, Charlotte only got 14 points off of those mistakes.
Now 12-12, the Pelicans get no rest. They return home to play the second of a back-to-back against the hot Los Angeles Clippers, who have the best record in the West at 15-6 and have won four straight games.
Back on Oct. 23, the Pelicans downed the Clippers 116-109 at Smoothie King Center as Davis had 34 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. Elfrid Payton was a big factor, playing his best game of his short season to date, scoring 20 points, pulling down seven rebounds and dishing out six assists.
The game features the two best sixth-men in the league in Lou Williams and Julius Randle.
The Pelicans will likely be without starting shooting guard E’Twaun Moore once again, who has a calf injury. Once again, it will be incumbent on others to step up.
New Orleans has the fourth best home record in the league at 9-2. To be a playoff team, you must protect home court. To be a championship contender, you must protect home court and win on the road. The Pelicans finally accomplished the latter Sunday. Now, it is time to handle the former against a tough opponent Monday night.
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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…