The New Orleans Pelicans snapped the Boston Celtics' seven-game winning streak, triumphing 116-113 in overtime thanks to All-Star Anthony Davis. "They tested us", said Davis, who just missed matching the 48 points he scored Sunday during a win in NY.
Jrue Holiday paced the Pelicans with 22 points, while Cousins had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Cousins hit 1-of-2 free throws to take the lead for the Pelicans 93-92, but missed his second attempt which was rebounded by Dennis Schroder, who finished with a team-high of 15 assists, as the Hawks took a timeout.
But while Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was pleased with the effort, even singling out Ian Clark (15 points off the bench) for having "his best game for us", he also remained guarded in his optimism.
It was a tough night for Davis, who was held to just eight points on 2-of-8 shooting - one night after scoring 45 points in a big win at Boston.
"For some reason tonight, the whole game we were a little careless". The latter then kicked out to Irving for a go-ahead 3-pointer the next trip down, then added his own triple for good measure for a six-point advantage with 3:45 to go. He's one of the few GMs in the National Basketball Association that could put together a package that would get New Orleans to even think about parting ways with the face of their franchise.
Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown added 16 points apiece for the Celtics, who attempted a season-high 50 3-pointers.
When the Celtics are just dealing with one dominant big, they can often accept the fact that they are going to be able to score, knowing they can do a lot more things to make up for that. Give me the Pelicans.
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The Pelicans' average margin of victory in their last five games has been 2.8, up from 0.1 for the season. "We came up with stops when we absolutely had to and then we were able to make some plays down the stretch that were the difference in the game".
"They kept worrying about me so much diving to the rim, Jrue was able to hit them little midrange jumpers". A couple of times, Celtics big man Aron Baynes just kind of looked at the superstar as if to say, "All right, well done, man". The Pelicans were only 3/18 in that period from the field.
They led by as many as 26 against Portland to send the Trail Blazers to their third loss in a row.
Pelicans: Davis has scored at least 35 points in each of his last three games at Madison Square Garden. "We weren't being ourselves, so I just tried to get us going on both ends of the floor". "And I thought he was tired more than anything", Gentry said.
"We didn't guard for most of the night", Stevens told Chin.
Though their finish was what drove the Pelicans late in Boston, Davis wasted no time in making his presence felt. He had 25 points at halftime.
Rookie Jayson Tatum suffered a knee injury in the win over the Philadelphia 76ers in London and was considered day to day. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, and will air on Fox Sports - New Orleans.