Shooting an atrocious 32-82 (39%) from the field and 3-15 (20%) from beyond the arc isn’t going to get you many wins. The Pelicans failed to knock down open shots and weren’t able to get to that fifth straight win Wednesday night against the underwhelming Denver Nuggets squad.
The Denver Nuggets snapped a seven-game losing streak as they took care of the Pelicans 93-85. The Afflalo-led Nuggets hit timely threes (10-17) throughout the game to pace them to victory. Ty Lawson had 13 assists to go along with Afflalo’s 20 points.
The Denver Nuggets came rushing out of the gate outscoring the Pelicans 28-17 in the first quarter. The lead ended up getting almost out-of-hand when Denver extended its lead to sixteen in the first half.
Anthony Davis was the only bright spot in the first half for the Pelicans. He had a quick fifteen points while Eric Gordon missed his first nine shots on his way to a 4-15 shooting night. Davis was the Pelicans only scorer in double figures going into halftime.
Coming out of the locker room for the second half, Tyreke Evans exploded onto the scoring scene. Tyreke finished with a game-high 25 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Although it took the 6’6 point guard twenty-two shots to get to twenty-five points he showed his dominating prowess to get to the rim and score.
Things got eerily quiet in the Smoothie King Center when All-Star starter Anthony Davis went down and was helped off of the court. In 37 minutes of play Davis finished 8-15 from the floor for 24 points and 12 rebounds, another effortlessly dominating performance.
Davis finally returned in the fourth to a standing ovation from a relieved crowd. Emotions were running high for the Crescent City crowd but the New Orleans Pelicans weren’t able to get the job done and ultimately being outscored 23-15 in the final quarter of play. Monty Williams told ESPN, “I just didn’t like the way he looked,” Williams said. “You can’t risk guys’ careers. He wants to be out there. Anyone would tell you that.” Davis will have an MRI today.
If we as fans can take anything positive from this game it is that we had an abysmal shooting night and the Nuggets had a great one and we only lost by single digits. In order to continue their recent success, Ryan Anderson needs to become a more consistent shooter/scorer and Eric Gordon must know and find his role on this team. Gordon has been a catalyst in the Pelicans’ recent good fortunes but needs to continue to be the third or fourth scoring option.
Tyreke Evans showed great scoring ability again but only dished out two assists. I’m thrilled to have Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter suiting up as the Pelicans swingmen. They both will quickly play into their roles and help the Pelicans both offensively and defensively and will bring great energy every time they step onto the floor.
The Pelicans must string together multiple wins at a time in order to eek their way into the Western Conference Playoffs. Things won’t get any easier as the play host to the Chris Paul-led Clippers Friday night at 7pm. Fans will get a glimpse of the former Pelicans tenth overall pick, Austin Rivers in his new Clippers attire.