Postgame recap: Pelicans 115, Rockets 113

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || QUOTES || VIDEOS

Pelicans (27-21), Rockets (34-13)

Seven wins in the last eight games. Statement victories at Boston’s TD Garden and at home against Southwest Division-leading Houston. New Orleans continued its best stretch of 2017-18 on Friday, posting a hard-fought victory over the Rockets on national TV, giving the Pelicans a season-high four-game winning streak. Once on the fringe of the top eight of the standings in the Western Conference, New Orleans now is in striking distance of a much higher position in the race.

The Pelicans built a lead of over 20 points Friday against Houston, then held on in the late stages, handing the Rockets their first loss of the season when all three of James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are in uniform.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Jrue Holiday missed the second of two free throws, the second on purpose, with only 1.8 seconds left, then New Orleans tapped the ball around long enough for time to expire, with the ball in the hands of Dante Cunningham. Prior to that, Darius Miller drained two clutch free throws for a 115-112 lead at 4.1 seconds. DeMarcus Cousins dropped in a critical and-one hoop with 15 seconds left to make it a two-possession game at 113-109, but ended up on the floor after missing the subsquent free throw. He sustained a left Achilles injury and will undergo an MRI on Saturday morning to determine the severity.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Miller has come through with several key performances over the past few months, with Friday’s ranking near the top in terms of the value he provided New Orleans. Miller knocked down big three-point baskets when the Pelicans needed them particularly early in the fourth quarter when the Rockets started threatening. He finished with 20 points, highlighted by six three-point makes.

Also a tip of the cap to fellow Kentucky product DeAndre Liggins, who pestered Harden from end-to-end defensively and added a Pelicans-high for him of eight points.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“We thought that anyway. As I’ve said, we played against Golden State and had big leads but couldn’t finish the game. Tonight we took a step in the right direction by having a lead, giving it up, but then finding a way to win a game.” – Alvin Gentry on whether Friday’s win over an elite opponent showed his team’s potential to be very good

“He’s extremely important to us. So yeah, we’re scared about it. I feel horrible for him, with everything he’s tried to do this year for us, and the improvements in all areas he’s made, on and off the court, has just been great. I don’t want that to happen to a guy who’s trying to better himself. All of our guys feel terrible about it.” – Gentry, after being asked about how concerned the Pelicans are about Cousins’ injury

“It was a great win, but we’re not sure what’s going to happen with DeMarcus. So we’ve just got to keep going. We can’t keep our heads down.” – Anthony Davis (27 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks) after Cousins was injured

BY THE NUMBERS

9: Career triple-doubles for Cousins, who notched his ninth Friday by producing 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He also had three steals.

21: New Orleans points off turnovers, a great conversion rate off of only 13 turnovers by Houston.

Cousins Exits Game After Suffering Injury

DeMarcus Cousins leaves the game early after injuring his lower left leg in the fourth quarter.

Game 48: Pelicans vs. Rockets 1/26/18

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Cousins Exits Game After Suffering Injury

DeMarcus Cousins leaves the game early after injuring his lower left leg in the fourth quarter.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:57

Pelicans-Rockets Postgame: Alvin Gentry 1-26-18

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry recaps tonight's 115-113 win over the Houston Rockets
Jan 26, 2018  |  02:28

Pelicans-Rockets Postgame: Anthony Davis 1-26-18

Pelicans forward Anthony Davis recaps tonight's 115-113 victory against the Houston Rockets
Jan 26, 2018  |  02:06

Pelicans-Rockets Postgame: Darius Miller 1-26-18

Pelicans guard Darius Miller recaps tonight's 115-113 home victory over the Houston Rockets
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:48

Anthony Davis racks up 27 against the Rockets

Pelicans Anthony Davis scored a team-high 27 points against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:54

Darius Miller adds 20 points in the win over Houston

Pelicans Darius Miller knocked down six triples and contributed 20 points off the bench in the win over the Rockets.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:16

Holiday adds 21 in the win against Houston

Pelicans Jrue Holiday was 8-12 from the floor as the Pelicans defeat the Rockets.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:50

DeMarcus Cousins tallies a Triple-Double against the Rockets

Prior to exiting with an injury, Pelicans DeMarcus Cousins had a night with 15 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds against the Houston Rockets.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:54

Holiday Drills it from the Corner

Pelicans Rajon Rondo drives and dishes to Jrue Holiday who knocks down the corner three.
Jan 26, 2018  |  00:13

Davis Huge Block On Harden

Anthony Davis blocks James Harden and Darius Miller knocks down the three in transition.
Jan 26, 2018  |  00:26

Anthony Davis Swats Eric Gordon

Pelicans Anthony Davis rises up for the block against Eric Gordon.
Jan 26, 2018  |  00:13

Ian Clark Drives Past Chris Paul

Pelicans Ian Clark slices through the Rockets defense for the layup.
Jan 26, 2018  |  00:09

Holiday Lobs it to Davis: Round 2

Pelicans Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis have this alley-oop thing down pat.
Jan 26, 2018  |  00:14

Holiday Lobs it to Davis

Pelicans Jrue Holiday finds Anthony Davis with the lob and slam
Jan 26, 2018  |  00:13

Give Us Some Moore

Pelicans E'Twaun Moore cuts down the lane and rises up for the slam.
Jan 26, 2018  |  00:09

Pelicans-Rockets End of Game Highlights 1-26-18

Check out the final minute of action during the Pelicans 115-113 home victory over the Houston Rockets
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:37