Five things to know about the Pelicans on Dec. 23, 2017

by Jim Eichenhofer

1)      New Orleans (16-16) got back to the .500 mark Friday, posting a dominant 111-97 victory at Orlando. It was the first time the Pelicans have held an opponent under 100 points since the day after Thanksgiving.

2)      Watch postgame reaction from Alvin Gentry.

3)      After arriving at their Miami hotel a bit after midnight, the Pelicans are back in action Saturday against the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena. Tip-off is 7 p.m. Central, with live broadcasts on Fox Sports New Orleans and WRNO 99.5 FM. Pregame coverage on both begins at 6:30.

4)      New Orleans remains in eighth place in the Western Conference entering Saturday, but spots 5 through 8 couldn’t be much closer. Oklahoma City and Denver are both 17-15 as the 5 and 6 teams, while Portland and New Orleans are both 16-16 at 7 and 8. Utah (15-18) is in ninth place, 1.5 games behind the Pelicans.

5)      The Pelicans have a favorable upcoming schedule in terms of home games, with three consecutive at the Smoothie King Center starting on Wednesday. Tickets for the Brooklyn mid-week game are available here.