After an amazing victory at the Smoothie King Center on Tuesday night, the Pelicans fall hard to the Grizzlies 110-74. The Pelicans now sit tied at the eighth spot with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Luckily for the Pels, they own the tiebreaker against the Thunder, which means they can finish the season tied with the Thunder and they will still advance.
Memphis had control of the game from the tip off. It honestly never looked in doubt for the hard-nose Grizzlies. They defend, they battle, the hit shots and they looked fresh and played with energy all game.
Zach Randolph finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, he actually had a double double going into halftime. Jeff Green and Marc Gasol each had 15 points to match Randolph’s output. The Grizzlies literally dominated in every facet of the game and took advantage of the worn down Pelicans.
Anthony Davis scored a team high 12 points. Only three Pelicans scored in double figures, Tyreke Evans with 10, Quincy Pondexter with 11 and Davis with 12. Eric Gordon struggled putting the ball in the basket going 4-13 (31%) finishing with nine points.
This by no means is the end of the world for the Pelicans. Are we inching closer to the Panic Button? Maybe. Is it time to push said button? No way. The Pelicans now get a day of rest and a day of preparation for the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are on their way out of the Western Conference playoffs as they sit 3.5 games behind the eighth spot.
The Thunder are currently on a four game slide and will play Sacramento Friday night. The Pelicans will host the Suns in a must win scenario. Pelicans finish the season playing at home against Phoenix, on the road at Houston and Minnesota then come home to finish out the year against the reigning champs, the San Antonio Spurs.
The Thunder’s last four remaining games is an easier path as they’ll finish with a home game with Sacramento, travel to Indiana to play the Pacers, come back home to host Portland and then travel to Minnesota to close out the year.
The Pelicans will likely have to go 3-1 in this final four game stretch to make the playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s history. Support the Pelicans Friday night at 7pm at the Smoothie King Center.