Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Knicks - February 19, 2014

Pelicans vs. Knicks Game Preview

After a memorable 2014 NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans, the second time the city has hosted over the past six years, the Pelicans return to the hardwood Wednesday, when they host the New York Knicks. New Orleans will try to pick up from where it left off prior to the All-Star break, when the Pelicans put together a 3-1 homestand that included wins over Chicago, Atlanta and Minnesota from Feb. 1-7. Dating back to late January, the Pelicans have won four of their last five games in the Smoothie King Center, with the lone defeat in that span coming against defending Western Conference champion San Antonio.

New Orleans will also try to continue to build on its rampant success this season against the Eastern Conference. Prior to All-Star, the Pelicans were 14-7 against the East, including at least one win over 10 of its 15 clubs. New Orleans has already swept two-game series from Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia.

The Pelicans are seeking another two-game series sweep Wednesday against the Knicks, having prevailed in New York City on Dec. 1 by a 103-99 margin. New Orleans won in the Big Apple despite a first-half broken left hand injury suffered by Anthony Davis, who exited the game after playing just 10 minutes. Off the bench, Ryan Anderson picked up the slack with one of the best games of his NBA career, a 31-point outing that including 7-for-11 three-point shooting. Also in a reserve role, Tyreke Evans piled up 24 points. Evans continues to spark the Pelicans off the bench, while Anderson has been sidelined since Jan. 3 with a herniated disc, the result of an accidental collision with Boston’s Gerald Wallace.

New York, which begins its second half with a Tuesday game at Memphis, is trying to move into the top eight of the standings in the East and return to the playoffs. The Knicks reached the second round of the postseason in 2013, but were eliminated by the Pacers in six games.

Pelicans Tyreke Evans
Intriguing matchup: Sixth Man
Tyreke Evans vs. J.R. Smith
Smith, who debuted with New Orleans as a rookie in 2004-05, was held relatively in check by the Pelicans in the Dec. 1 meeting, scoring just 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Evans had one of his best games this season, registering 24 points, seven assists and four steals.
Knicks J.R. Smith

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