What the Pelicans had to say about the 98-91 loss to the Knicks (2/19/14)

Pelicans Coach Monty Williams
On the box score
“When you have a chance to win down the stretch and win the rebounding and get to the free throw line more than them you think you are going to win it. I thought the stretch didn’t tell the whole story. Early in the game we were relaxed and played Carmelo (Anthony) soft. You can’t help against a guy like that when you give him one or two dribbles to get to the basket. He was efficient all night long.”

On the overall game
“We only had 16 assists. Too much dribbling and not enough passing. When we did get stops and pass the ball we looked like our team. When we held the ball and dribbled the clock out we just didn’t look that great. We had our chances. We missed shots tonight. We played good defense in the fourth quarter. They only had 20 points in the fourth quarter. We just missed a lot of shots and we didn’t share the ball like we usually do.”

On Anthony Davis and Luke Babbitt
“Anthony Davis did a great job of fighting through the screens. He was guarding (Iman) Shumpert and then he had to guard (Tim) Hardaway Jr.. He then got on Carmelo and probably did the best job. I thought Luke did a really good job. He hit tough shots. A lot of those shots had a hand in his face.”

Pelicans Guard Austin Rivers
On coming out of the All-Star break with this game
“It is tough to come out like this. There were a couple of plays that we just didn’t execute. Carmelo Anthony just hit some big, tough shots. It was just a couple of plays that I think were the difference between us winning and losing.”

On if the Knicks defense was able to take the Pelicans out of their rhythm at the end of each quarter
“I don’t know. I don’t think we finished our quarters our best. I don’t know if it was anything they did or if it was self-inflicted. We just made some mistakes that we usually don’t make and we will look at that tomorrow in practice.”

On if he was exploiting anything particular in the Knicks’ defense
“No, I tried to go out there and be me. I got good looks. I think when we attacked we were able to get what we wanted for everybody. I think we just put our foot on the pedal sometimes, took it off and then put it back on. We just have to continue to execute and put the pressure on and get stops and we will be OK.”

Pelicans Forward Luke Babbitt
On the play of Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter
“He is one of the best one-on-one players in the league. He’s a superstar so we were trying to mix up the look. Carmelo was just in the zone tonight, he was in a rhythm. He made some plays down the stretch that really hurt us.”

On how tough of a loss this game is
“It is tough. I think in the first half we were just a little bit out of rhythm. In the second half we battled and played hard. We can’t fault our effort but we have to execute better if we want to win a tough game like that. We made our run and took the lead by one, but we could never pull away after that. They executed better than we did down the stretch. We dug ourselves a bit of a hole, but we fought hard so we can’t fault our effort.”