Postgame recap: Pelicans 116, Celtics 113 (OT)

by Jim Eichenhofer


Pelicans (23-20), Celtics (34-11)

BOSTON – Two games on this Eastern Conference road trip, two dramatic wins in the storied arenas of longtime NBA franchises. Two monster Anthony Davis performances.

The bottom line for the Pelicans on Tuesday in TD Garden was eerily reminiscent to that of Sunday’s in Madison Square Garden: New Orleans made numerous big plays down the stretch to secure a hard-fought victory, with Davis turning in a dominant game. Two days after pouring in 48 points at New York, the four-time All-Star rang up 45 points in Boston. The result was his team’s most impressive and rewarding win of 2017-18. It ended Boston's seven-game winning streak.

After rallying back from a 19-point deficit against the Knicks, this time the opponent pulled off a comeback, as Boston survived a 12-point hole to eventually force overtime. Behind Davis and key baskets from Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans held a 12-9 edge over the Celtics during the extra stanza, improving to 2-0 on a three-game road trip. The Eastern time zone trek concludes Wednesday at Atlanta in a back-to-back.

New Orleans trailed 113-110 in OT with 2:11 remaining, but scored the final six points. DeMarcus Cousins banked in a shot to pull the Pelicans within a point, followed by Holiday making two straight pull-up jumpers for the 116-113 margin. The latter came with 53 seconds left in OT. Boston star Kyrie Irving had a chance to tie in the final minute, but his three-point attempt misfired.


Leading by three with 1.3 seconds left in OT, Rajon Rondo threw a pass to Davis under the rim, allowing Davis to tip the ball a couple times, causing the clock to expire before Boston could grab it or toss a long heave before the buzzer.


Davis is on an absolute tear, compiling progressively bigger scoring numbers recently of 30, 36 and 48 points in his three previous appearances, then going for 45 against the NBA’s No. 1 defensive team in Boston. He was 16/34 from the field Tuesday, adding 13/15 accuracy at the foul line. He also grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked two shots in his 45 minutes of action, the second straight OT game in which he logged extremely high minutes.

“I’m just trying to carry the team. I’m just having fun, honestly,” Davis said of his recent offensive barrage. “There’s nothing more to it. Same shots I normally have, I’m just making them now. And my teammates are doing a great job of looking for me. And they are making a lot of shots, for the floor to open up for me when I do isolation or post up. I’m able to not see a crowd. (Opposing defenses) have to pick your poison.”


“It was a great win for us. They tested us. We were up, they came back and made a run. In overtime, we just wanted to keep battling, keep fighting. We knew it was going to be a tough game for us. Best team in the league. To come in here on their home floor and get a win, it definitely did a lot for our confidence.” – Davis on the significance of winning in Boston

“A big win. A confidence-builder for us.” – Holiday on beating Boston on the road

“He’s special, an unbelievable player. But we expect that from him. He’s one of the top players in this league. We hold him to that standard, to come out and perform and be able to have nights like he did the past two (games).” – Ian Clark on Davis; Clark was invaluable Tuesday with 15 points off the bench, including key fourth-quarter hoops

“I think this was one of our best performances of the year. We played together, but it started on the defensive end. We executed the game plan really, really, really well. We showed the way we’re capable of playing.” – Clark on the Pelicans’ play Tuesday

“Confidence in this league is everything, and I think our guys are starting to get confident. And we’ve been healthy, where we can start to have a rotation and guys feel good about it. Where we’re not plugging in guys and plugging them out (of the lineup due to unexpected and forced changes).” – Alvin Gentry on the mindset of his team as it experiences more success, including on the road


39.6: Boston shooting percentage from the field, one of the biggest keys for New Orleans. The Celtics were a very poor 21/51 on two-pointers.

7/27: Pelicans three-point shooting. New Orleans again was able to overcome a below-average night from long distance by faring well in other categories. The Celtics fired a whopping 50 times from beyond the arc.

32: New Orleans points off turnovers. The Pelicans were disruptive defensively for much of Tuesday’s game, forcing 19 Celtics turnovers.

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 116, Celtics 113

The Pelicans pull away with a 116-113 overtime win over the Celtics as Anthony Davis drops 45 points and grabs 16 rebounds.

Game 43: Pelicans at Celtics 1/16/18

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GAME RECAP: Pelicans 116, Celtics 113

The Pelicans pull away with a 116-113 overtime win over the Celtics as Anthony Davis drops 45 points and grabs 16 rebounds.
Jan 16, 2018  |  02:33

Pelicans vs. Celtics Postgame: Anthony Davis 1-16-18

Anthony Davis talks about his big game against the Celtics.
Jan 17, 2018  |  02:06

Pelicans vs. Celtics Postgame: Jrue Holiday 1-16-18

Jrue Holiday talks about the Pelicans' big OT win over the Boston Celtics.
Jan 17, 2018  |  01:26

Pelicans vs. Celtics Postgame: Head Coach Alvin Gentry 1-16-18

Head Coach Alvin Gentry addresses the media after the Pelicans' OT win over the Boston Celtics.
Jan 17, 2018  |  04:00

Pelicans vs. Celtics Postgame: Ian Clark 1-16-18

Ian Clark talks about one of his best games this season.
Jan 17, 2018  |  01:42

Jrue Holiday speaks courtside with Jen Hale

Jrue Holiday speaks with Jen Hale (and special guest) after the Pelicans defeat the Boston Celtics in OT.
Jan 16, 2018  |  03:00

Nightly Notable: Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis notches 45 points with 16 rebounds, two blocks and two steals versus Boston.
Jan 17, 2018  |  02:00

Anthony Davis scores 45 points, 16 rebounds vs. Celtics

Anthony Davis has another monster night scoring 45 points and grabbing 16 rebounds against the Boston Celtics.
Jan 16, 2018  |  03:41

AD Cleans Up Around the Rim

Anthony Davis cleans up on the boards and slams a missed three pointer from DeMarcus Cousins
Jan 16, 2018  |  00:40

Ian Clark scores 15 points off the bench

Ian Clark sparks the Pelicans by coming off the bench and scoring 15 points in the match up against the Boston Celtics.
Jan 16, 2018  |  01:15

Ian Clark Gives 2nd Quarter Spark

Ian Clark comes off the bench and scores 9 points in the second quarter for the Pelicans.
Jan 16, 2018  |  00:38

Davis on Autopilot

Anthony Davis turns around and hits an off balance long two to put the Pelicans in the lead.
Jan 16, 2018  |  00:11

Darius Miller Showcases Quick Release

Darius Miller drills his quick shot with a defender's hand in his face.
Jan 16, 2018  |  00:09

Anthony Davis has 17 in the First Quarter

Anthony Davis comes out hot with 17 points in the first quarter against the Celtics.
Jan 16, 2018  |  01:31

Rondo to Davis Who Takes Flight

Rajon Rondo lobs the ball to Anthony Davis who takes flight to finish the play
Jan 16, 2018  |  00:17

Cousins Steals and Slams

DeMarcus Cousins steals the ball at the top of the key and dunks the ball on the other end.
Jan 16, 2018  |  00:15