Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Grizzlies at Pelicans (1/20/18)

by Jim Eichenhofer

A look at three key numbers related to Saturday’s game at the Smoothie King Center between Memphis and New Orleans (6 p.m., Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM):

1: Time in New Orleans franchise history that the team has had two players named All-Star starters in the same year, which officially took place Thursday, when Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins received the honor. The #DoItBig duo is accomplishing several other unprecedented things these days, particularly in the modern NBA, with both ranking in the league’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking. Davis and Cousins have combined to average 52.0 points, 23.2 rebounds and 3.7 blocks. Davis was sidelined for the Jan. 10 game at Memphis, but racked up 33 points on Oct. 18. Cousins is averaging 31.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.5 blocks against the Grizzlies this season. 

4: Opponents New Orleans (23-21 overall) has played more than once this season without posting a victory, an odd quartet that includes NBA-best Golden State, elite Eastern Conference squad Toronto, West current No. 4 seed Minnesota and… Memphis (16-28). The Grizzlies secured a 103-91 victory back in the Oct. 18 opener for both Southwest Division teams, then pulled out a 105-102 win 10 days ago, with both of those matchups taking place in FedEx Forum. One of the bigger negative factors for the Pelicans in the defeats was three-point shooting, as the visitors shot a combined 18/60 (30 percent). New Orleans is shooting 37.0 percent from the three-point stripe this season, including 37.3 percent in its 42 non-Memphis games.

7-1: New Orleans record when holding its opponent under 100 points this season (the only loss in that set came Wednesday in Atlanta, a 94-93 defeat, with the Hawks needing a Kent Bazemore mid-range shot in the final seconds to prevail). Memphis is averaging just 99.4 points per game this season, second-lowest in the league (Sacramento is last at 97.7). Although the Grizzlies often struggle to reach the century mark offensively, they’ve done so twice against the Pelicans in 2017-18, part of a respectable 11-9 record when they’ve tallied 100-plus points. They’ve only won five games all season when held to double figures, including none since Dec. 16.