Pelicans score franchise record 149 points to race past Kings

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It’s getting very difficult not to let one’s imagination run wild a bit after the New Orleans Pelicans completely embarrassed the Sacramento Kings, 149-129.

The Pelicans are now 2-0, a place they haven’t been since the 2011-12 season.

Their 149 points set a new franchise single-game record, and are the most by any NBA team since the Alvin Gentry-led Phoenix Suns scored 152 more than eight years ago. Niko Mirotic scored a career-high 36 points to set the pace, something the Pelicans have been doing pretty well so far.

After two games the Pelicans have:
● Scored a total of 280 points
● Posted 30 points or more in eight consecutive quarters (franchise-record)
● Produced six double-doubles and one triple-double
● Dished out a NBA-leading 71 assists
● Made a league-best 56 percent of their shots (46.4 on three-pointers)
● Gotten a combined 161 points from Mirotic, Anthony Davis, and Julius Randle

“We want to play at that pace,” said Gentry after the game. “I think our guys did a good job with the ball movement part of it; we had 21 assists at the half (it was 20) and we ended up with 34 or 36 (it was 35). More so than anything, I think we did a good job of finding the hot hand.”

If they played fast against the Rockets, New Orleans jumped right to “Ludicrous Speed” against the Kings.

The sold out crowd couldn’t have enjoyed it more. There were tons of points, “MVP” chants, and plenty of plays worthy of the SportsCenter Top 10. For a franchise that hasn’t always enjoyed a home court advantage, “The Blender” was set on high Friday night.

“It was fun,” said Davis, who scored 25 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and had six assists in just 27 minutes of action. “The crowd was into it. As a team we got off to a slow start on the defensive end, trading baskets. We know we can score, obviously, 149, but we’ve got to run on the defensive end. If we start games on the defensive end the way we did in the second half, we should be fine.”

They’ve been more than fine so far. Especially by running the offense through their talented trio of big men. Davis has done his best to back up his words, while Mirotic and Randle have to be making their agents very happy, as visions of lucrative contracts dance in their heads.

“If teams wanna play small, we’ve got three big guys who can score off the block,” Davis said. “So we want to use the that to our advantage and let our guards do their work from the perimeter.”

The frontcourt has gotten the lion’s share of the accolades, but the Pelicans have more than just the “BIG” three. Right?

“Man, what are we here for,” Jrue Holiday asked backcourt mate E’Twaun Moore jokingly. “They score, they pass, they rebound, they do everything. Block shots. They don’t need us.”

Of course that’s far from the truth. Holiday had 15 points and 10 assists and played incredible defense in the second half.

E’Twaun Moore (10) and Elfrid Payton (11) combined for 21 points, and 12 out of the 13 players who took the floor scored at least one basket. Reserves Darius Miller (10) and Ian Clark (13) both topped double figures, and redshirt rookie Frank Jackson scored his first five NBA points.

So far, it looks like the Pelicans have more options than the menu at a Cheesecake Factory. What’s scary is that the team should only get better. The Pelicans are young, talented, and versatile. Oh, the possibilities.

“The ceiling is very high,” added Davis. “We start clicking defensively and start locking in for the entire 48 (minutes), we’re going to be a team to reckon with.”

Hey, AD. I may not be the first to break this to you, but you already are.

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David Grubb

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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…

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