Entergy postgame wrap: Pelicans 118, Wizards 107
Pelicans (30-39, 11th in West), Wizards (24-45, 9th in East)
After a sluggish first half, New Orleans cranked up its defensive intensity to such a degree Friday that it nearly forced Washington into both a 24-second violation and a backcourt violation on the same third-quarter possession. That type of relentlessness – the Pelicans also forced a shot-clock violation on a different possession in the period – helped completely change the game. New Orleans went on to post a vital win, keeping its mathematical playoff hopes alive, bouncing back from Thursday’s high-scoring defeat to Sacramento.
New Orleans remained 2.5 games behind eighth-place Memphis, after both teams prevailed Friday. The Pelicans are 1.5 games back of No. 9 Portland. They need to go 3-0 in the rest of seeding games and get help in other games on the scoreboard to have a chance to qualify for the play-in round.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Derrick Favors doubled his game point total in rapid fashion, scoring a layup in the paint and tipping in a rebound to give New Orleans a 16-point lead with seven-plus minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans rode a barrage of three-pointers in the second half to gain a double-digit lead, then Favors stretched out the edge with some hard work in the paint.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Instead of an individual Pelican, give the honors to the five-man lineup of Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick, Frank Jackson, Nicolo Melli and Josh Hart, a group that gave New Orleans a major injection of energy and aggressiveness in the second half. Redick and Melli totaled five treys in the third quarter, which New Orleans won by a 37-25 margin, turning a two-point halftime deficit into a 10-point lead.
Melli had struggled with his shot in Orlando, but went 4/5, scoring 10 points. Jackson provided 13 points in just 20 minutes. More importantly, New Orleans was plus-30 with Jackson on the court.
“We just needed a little bit of energy,” Melli said of the lineup and second-half surge. “Frank and I brought that to the team, and of course Josh, but he always brings that energy. We needed to pick up Washington from their baseline (defensively). I think we did a pretty good job. We needed this win. That was the most important thing, no matter how, no matter what.”
BY THE NUMBERS
8: New Orleans blocks, led by three apiece from Melli and Lonzo Ball. The Pelicans more swats Friday than in the previous four bubble games combined.
33-39: The best possible record the Pelicans can finish with after what will be a 72-game regular season for them. In order for NOLA to finish ahead of Memphis with that 33-39 mark, the Grizzlies would need to go 0-3 (opponents Toronto, Boston, Milwaukee). In order for NOLA to finish ahead of Portland, the Trail Blazers would need to go 1-3 or worse (opponents Clippers, Philadelphia, Dallas, Brooklyn). NOLA also needs Phoenix to lose once in its remaining four games. If the Pelicans go 3-0 and two of those three teams cooperate, New Orleans will earn a berth in the play-in round, because 3-0 would guarantee placing ahead of other contenders San Antonio and Sacramento.
Jrue Holiday postgame after win vs. Washington Wizards (8/7/20)
NBA Restart Game #5: Pelicans vs Wizards 8/7/20
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday postgame interview after putting up 28 points in a win against the Washington Wizards on August 7, 2020.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday postgame interview following the Pelicans victory over the Washington Wizards on August 7, 2020.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram postgame interview following the Pelicans win over the Washington Wizards on August 7, 2020.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Nicolò Melli postgame interview following the Pelicans victory over the Washington Wizards on August 7, 2020.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson postgame interview following the Pelicans victory over the Washington Wizards on August 7, 2020.
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry postgame interview following the Pelicans victory over the Washington Wizards on August 7, 2020.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram notched 17 points vs. Washington.
New Orleans Pelicans sharpshooter JJ Redick contributed 15 points after being inserted into the starting lineup vs. Washington.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday led the way with 28 points in a win over the Washington Wizards.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart beats the shot clock with the turnaround triple.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Nicolò Melli rolls to the basket and throws down the two-handed dunk off the JJ Redick assist.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday blows past the defender for the jam.
New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick buries the triple from the wing.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson throws down the fastbreak dunk.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson assists center Jaxson Hayes of the pick-and-roll for the one-handed dunk.
New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes collects the offensive rebound and scores for an And-1 opportunity.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday splits the double team and scores the contested bucket.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball creates the turnover and scores on the offensive end.