Postgame recap: Pelicans 114, Thunder 107

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Pelicans (9-8), Thunder (7-9)

Half of New Orleans’ perennial All-Star big-man duo was in the locker room in crunch time, but the Pelicans still managed to overtake Oklahoma City and its trio of All-Star performers Monday, coming up with more big plays late. Leading 87-86 entering the fourth quarter and with DeMarcus Cousins ejected due to a flagrant foul, New Orleans leaned on the offense of Anthony Davis and key plays by a series of others to knock off the Thunder.

Davis dropped in 18 points in both halves, finishing with a total of 36. He tallied 14 in the second quarter to push New Orleans back in the hunt after a poor start, then added 14 more in the final period. The Pelicans outscored the Thunder 27-21 in the decisive final 12 minutes.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Davis ended up with free throws after a Westbrook missed three-pointer in the final seconds, then sank both to give New Orleans a three-possession edge with 6 seconds remaining. New Orleans won the first game of a challenging two-game homestand, which concludes Wednesday vs. San Antonio.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Davis put the hosts on his back in the second half with Cousins unavailable. While establishing career highs in free throws made and attempted, Davis was too tough for Oklahoma City’s defense to handle; the Thunder often put a smaller defender on him, which allowed New Orleans to readily throw lobs and entry passes into the four-time All-Star. He shot 18 of 22 from the foul line, to account for half of his 36 points, and also grabbed 15 rebounds. One blemish was his seven turnovers, but he had to make countless decisions with the ball and a couple of those were the result of hustle plays that went bad.

Davis’ herculean effort also consisted of him playing the entire second half.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“After that little slump in the first quarter, we brought the energy. Our second team did amazing to get us back in this game. Hats off to them. They really brought the energy, and from there, we kind of picked it up and sustained it.” – Jrue Holiday (18 points) on the contributions by New Orleans reserves

“It’s a team effort. We all play a part. It’s not just two guys, or one guy, it’s everybody who steps on the floor. We didn’t get off to a good start, but once everything got rolling, everybody did a great job.” – Jameer Nelson, after being asked about the work of the bench, which shot a combined 11/15 from the field

“Our bench did a hell of a job bringing us back. It was a collective team effort.” – Rajon Rondo on the second unit

BY THE NUMBERS

26-23: New Orleans bench scoring advantage. That may not seem like that big of an edge, but consider that the Pelicans’ reserves only attempted 16 shots from the floor, while the Thunder subs shot 8/24.

5: Oklahoma City points in the initial five-plus minutes of the fourth quarter. New Orleans came up with a slew of defensive stops during that stretch, eventually going up by eight with 5:13 remaining.

3: At home games this season, Zatarain’s will donate meals to the Second Harvest Food Bank for every Pelicans dunk. Davis, Cousins and Tony Allen each threw down a slam, totaling three for New Orleans.

Anthony Davis with great vision to Tony Allen

Anthony Davis and Tony Allen play a two-man game for the nice bucket.

Game 17: Pelicans vs Thunder 11/20/17

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Anthony Davis with great vision to Tony Allen

Anthony Davis and Tony Allen play a two-man game for the nice bucket.
Nov 20, 2017  |  00:13

Pelicans-Thunder Postgame: Jrue Holiday 11-20-17

Guard Jrue Holiday talks about the Pelicans 114-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center on November 20, 2017.
Nov 20, 2017  |  02:17

Pelicans-Thunder Postgame: Rajon Rondo 11-20-17

Guard Rajon Rondo talks to the media about the Pelicans 114-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center on November, 20 2017.
Nov 20, 2017  |  02:12

Pelicans-Thunder Postgame: Tony Allen 11-20-17

Guard Tony Allen talks about the Pelicans 114-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center on November 20, 2017.
Nov 20, 2017  |  03:05

Pelicans-Thunder Postgame: Jameer Nelson 11-20-17

Gaurd Jameer Nelson talks to the media about the Pelicans 114-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center on November, 20 2017.
Nov 20, 2017  |  01:20

Pelicans-Thunder Postgame: Alvin Gentry 11-20-17

Head Coach Alvin Gentry talks to the media about the Pelicans 114-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center on November, 20 2017.
Nov 20, 2017  |  07:07

Highlights: Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis notches a double-double with 36 points and 15 rebounds in the Pelicans win over the Thunder.
Nov 20, 2017  |  01:47

Rondo To Davis Alley-oop

Rajon Rondo lobs it up to Anthony Davis at the basket for the alley-oop.
Nov 20, 2017  |  00:17

Nelson To Davis For The Tip-In

Jameer Nelson gets the deep pass to Anthony Davis who tips it in to end the third quarter.
Nov 20, 2017  |  00:21

Davis And-One

Anthony Davis catches it with the left hand to toss it up for the layup and grabs the and-one.
Nov 20, 2017  |  00:17

Cousins Slams It Down

DeMarcus Cousins gets past his defenders to throw it down at the hoop.
Nov 20, 2017  |  00:18

Anthony Davis blocks Carmelo

Anthony Davis with the help and the block on Carmelo Anthony.
Nov 20, 2017  |  00:14