A team that went winless over the first two-plus weeks of the season now isn’t losing. A team that suffered several excruciating narrow defeats earlier in 2016-17 is now administering some punishment on the opposition.
New Orleans’ rapid turnaround continued Wednesday in front of ESPN’s national TV audience, with the Pelicans posting a fourth consecutive victory and second rout in as many nights, after pounding Atlanta by 18 on the Hawks’ home floor Tuesday. Since starting 0-8, New Orleans has gone 6-2 and completely reversed its fortunes, including a perfect 4-0 with Jrue Holiday back in uniform. The Pelicans will head out for their annual Thanksgiving road trip, visiting Portland on Friday, then Dallas on Sunday.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
New Orleans rode a huge third-quarter surge to turn what had been an eight-point deficit into a lead of 20-plus points during the final chunk of that period. Anthony Davis scored 13 points in the stanza, while Tim Frazier handed out a handful of assists, setting up the likes of Omer Asik and E’Twaun Moore for easy hoops. The Pelicans built an 89-68 advantage and never looked back, posting a fourth straight home win.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
One night after a hard tumble into the Atlanta stands forced his temporary exit and limited him to 13 points, Davis piled up 39 points by the end of the third quarter and finished with 45. It was the third time this season that the three-time All-Star eclipsed the 40-point plateau, after he registered 50 and 45 during the opening week vs. Denver and Golden State, respectively. Davis was uber-efficient Wednesday, going 17/27 from the field and 9/10 from the foul line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds, to go with two steals and one block.
PELICANS UNSUNG CONTRIBUTOR
Terrence Jones continues to play well for New Orleans off the bench, this time provided a big spark throughout his 24 minutes of action. Like his former Kentucky teammate Davis, Jones made the most out of his offensive opportunities, scoring 17 points on 7/10 shooting from the field. Also like Davis, Jones was a force on the boards (seven rebounds). The first-year Pelican dropped in nine second-quarter points, helping New Orleans maintain a small lead at intermission.