Game Preview: Pelicans at Celtics
The New Orleans Pelicans are struggling to carry their home success onto the road.
The venue hasn't made much of a difference to the Boston Celtics' latest problems.
The Pelicans go for just their second road win in eight tries Friday night, when they attempt to get another victory over the Celtics.
New Orleans has won eight of 11 at home, including four in a row. However, the Pelicans have lost six of seven on the road and fell 124-112 at Minnesota to open this four-game trip Wednesday.
"At home, we do a great job of talking, doing everything that we're supposed to do," forward Anthony Davis said. "We gotta bring that same energy, that same effort on the road. Make sure that we talk.
"The biggest thing is communication."
Facing Boston could also help.
New Orleans has won five of its past six meetings with the Celtics, including back-to-back visits to TD Garden.
Davis had 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 90-78 win in the most recent matchup there Jan. 16. He had nine points and six boards at home March 20, but came up big with the decisive basket on a tip-in with 0.3 seconds left in an 87-86 victory.
He's looking to bounce back from his own rough performance from Wednesday after being held to 13 points and six rebounds. Davis had been averaging 21.3 points and 11.2 boards over the previous six games after sitting out seven with a broken hand.
Tyreke Evans has averaged 18.7 points in three career games against the Celtics, but missed four others through injuries. He enters this match averaging 19.5 points and 7.3 assists in six games.
While the Pelicans are trying to improve on the road, the Celtics have lost five of six overall while shooting 29.4 percent from beyond the arc.
They were far worse than that Thursday, missing 10 of 12 attempts from long range while making just 16 of 23 free throws in a 94-82 loss at Chicago.
Still, first-year coach Brad Stevens found a bright side.
"I am very encouraged and the reason why is we played very physical," he said. "We missed some chippies, but those things don't really weigh on me.
"I think this is the best we have played in the last seven games."
The Celtics, though, will have another obstacle to overcome Friday in addition to the Pelicans. They're traveling the day of the game due to the weather conditions in Chicago.
"We just have to be ready to play," forward Jeff Green said. "That's the way it is with a back to back. We just have to make sure we get our rest."
Jordan Crawford was a rare offensive bright spot against the Bulls, scoring 22 points while adding seven assists. That was a major improvement after the guard had eight points while going 3 for 15 from the field - 1 for 7 from 3-point range - in a 92-91 home loss to Atlanta two days earlier.
Crawford was limited to four points at New Orleans on March 20.