Zion Williamson drives past Josh Jackson

Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 128, Pistons 118

Pelicans (14-17), Pistons (9-23)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Dallas’ Rick Carlisle described a recent Mavericks-Pelicans game as a “pillow fight” defensively, a label that was apt for Wednesday’s Pelicans-Pistons tilt for three quarters. Both teams threatened the century mark through 36 minutes, tied at 96, but New Orleans tightened up considerably from there, limiting Detroit to just 12 points in the first eight minutes of the fourth. That stretch of stingy defense lifted the Pelicans to a second straight victory to close a four-game homestand. Two days earlier, they posted a historic second-half comeback against Boston.

After playing without starting center Steven Adams (ankle) for two games, the New Zealand native went for 14 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Adams dropped in a putback score off an Eric Bledsoe missed jumper, giving New Orleans a 10-point lead around the 2:15 mark. Adams grabbed another offensive rebound on the next Pelicans possession, allowing the hosts to bleed more time off the clock and maintain a 121-111 edge approaching the one-minute post.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Twenty-four hours after learning that he was a 2021 NBA All-Star, Zion Williamson was as unstoppable as ever in the paint and around the basket, producing a series of spins and acrobatic layups en route to shooting 13/18 from the field and scoring 32 points, four shy of tying his career high.

“He’s a generational talent, where you don’t know what you’re going to (see) from him every single night,” said Brandon Ingram, an All-Star in 2020. “It’s going to be something different, something exciting. I like to feed off that, to come into the game ready, because I know he’s going to be ready. It’s good to have another All-Star beside me and having the same mindset going into games.”

BY THE NUMBERS

32-22: New Orleans advantage in the fourth quarter.

74: Pelicans season high for points in the paint.

63: Detroit bench points. The Pistons’ reserves were outstanding in two head-to-head meetings this season with the Pelicans. Josh Jackson’s 25 points Wednesday came on 10/18 shooting.

Revisiting three keys to victory

KEEP ATTACKING IN TRANSITION

New Orleans had one of its best games of the season in this category, part of a February trend in which the Pelicans have been increasingly successful pushing for fast-break scores. They scored 26 fast-break points, with 13 in each half.

PRESSURE THE BALL

Playing without a couple point guards (Delon Wright and Killian Hayes), Detroit had little trouble taking care of the ball, committing just 13 turnovers with Dennis Smith and Saban Lee running the offense, though eight of those miscues were in the second half. Smith and Lee combined to shoot a solid 10/20 from the floor.

DON’T LET THEM FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS

Detroit is a below average offensive team, but for the second time in 10 days, the Pistons managed to pile up points vs. the Pelicans, while receiving output from a wide array of sources. Seven Pistons reached double-digit scoring Wednesday; seven had at least seven points in the first half.



Pelicans Road Trip Preview presented by Fan Duel | Milwaukee

The New Orleans Pelicans travel to Milwaukee for their first of a two-game road trip where they will take on the Bucks on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

2020-21 Game #31 Pelicans vs. Pistons

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

Pelicans Road Trip Preview presented by Fan Duel | Milwaukee

The New Orleans Pelicans travel to Milwaukee for their first of a two-game road trip where they will take on the Bucks on Thursday, February 25, 2021.
Feb 25, 2021  |  00:30

Pelicans vs. Pistons Slo-Mo Highlights 2/24/21

Catch slow motion highlights from the New Orleans Pelicans' win against the Detroit Pistons in Game 31 of the 2020-21 NBA regular season.
Feb 25, 2021  |  02:30

Pelicans-Pistons Postgame: Steven Adams 2-24-2021

New Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams discusses the team's 128-118 win over the Detroit Pistons in his postgame interview on February 24, 2021 at the Smoothie King Center.
Feb 24, 2021  |  04:19

Pelicans-Pistons Postgame: Zion Williamson 2-24-2021

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson discusses the team's 128-118 win over the Detroit Pistons in his postgame interview on February 24, 2021 at the Smoothie King Center.
Feb 24, 2021  |  05:55

Pelicans-Pistons Postgame: Brandon Ingram 2-24-2021

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram discusses the team's 128-118 win over the Detroit Pistons in his postgame interview on February 24, 2021 at the Smoothie King Center.
Feb 24, 2021  |  03:51

New Orleans Pelicans Highlights vs. Detroit Pistons

Full game highlights from the New Orleans Pelicans' 128-118 win over the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 24.
Feb 24, 2021  |  01:54

Zion Williamson pours in 32 points | Pelicans-Pistons Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson scores a game-high 32 points in the win over the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 24.
Feb 24, 2021  |  01:59

Pelicans-Pistons Postgame: Stan Van Gundy 2-24-2021

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy discusses the team's 128-118 win over the Detroit Pistons in his postgame interview on February 24, 2021 at the Smoothie King Center.
Feb 24, 2021  |  06:40

Brandon Ingram dunk | Pelicans-Pistons Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram elevates for the one-handed dunk.
Feb 24, 2021  |  00:08

Zion Williamson one-handed jam | Pelicans-Pistons Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson slashes down the lane and powers home the one-handed dunk.
Feb 24, 2021  |  00:10

Zion Williamson finds Josh Hart for the score | Pelicans-Pistons Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson dishes to Josh Hart for the score in transition.
Feb 24, 2021  |  00:11

Willy Hernangómez block | Pelicans-Pistons Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangómez denies Josh Jackson's shot attempt in the paint.
Feb 24, 2021  |  00:11

Zion Williamson takes it coast-to-coast | Pelicans-Pistons Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson gathers the rebound and takes it coast-to-coast for the score.
Feb 24, 2021  |  00:13

Steven Adams pick-and-roll score | Pelicans-Pistons Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball and center Steven Adams execute the pick-and-roll for the score.
Feb 24, 2021  |  00:13

Zion Williamson's initial reaction to being named to the 2021 NBA All-Star team

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson talks about his reaction to being named to the 2021 NBA All-Star team. In 29 games so far this season, Williamson is averaging 25.1 points (14th in NBA), 6.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.8 minutes per contest.
Feb 24, 2021  |  04:24

SeatGeek Hype: Pelicans vs. Pistons | February 24, 2021

Get HYPE for Pelicans basketball as the squad faces the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00 PM CT on FOX Sports New Orleans.
Feb 24, 2021  |  00:30

Related Content

NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter