Postgame recap: Pelicans 119, Trail Blazers 113

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || QUOTES || VIDEOS

Pelicans (21-20), Trail Blazers (22-20)

New Orleans has relied heavily on three-point shooting in recent weeks, but on Friday the Pelicans took their game inside. That proved to be a very good thing.

While Portland continually launched from the perimeter – mostly unsuccessfully – the hosts made a concerted effort to drive to the rim, resulting in a 62-54 edge in points in the paint and plenty of easy baskets. New Orleans eventually took control in the late stages of the fourth quarter, picking up a key victory over Portland. The Pelicans moved to within just a half-game of the Trail Blazers in the very tight Western Conference standings. The teams entered Friday in fifth and eighth place, respectively.

Portland guard Damian Lillard struggled to a 2/11 night on threes, making him just 7/30 in three head-to-head games against the Pelicans this season. The Trail Blazers shot 12/42 on treys and missed several in key spots while trying to overcome a manageable late deficit.                                           

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Anthony Davis got the friendly roll on a half-hook near the lane, giving New Orleans a 113-105 edge with a minute-plus remaining. The Trail Blazers came up empty on their next possession, keeping it an eight-point margin with under 45 seconds left.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Two days after he sat out a game in Memphis due to a right ankle sprain, Davis piled up 36 points and looked spry, rising over Portland’s defense for many of his buckets during a 16/23 shooting night. Meanwhile, tag-team All-Star partner DeMarcus Cousins turned in what Alvin Gentry described as one of Cousins’ best all-around performances of 2017-18, racking up numbers of 24 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists. Combined with third scorer Jrue Holiday (25 points on 8/11 shooting), the trio went for 85 points on 33/55 shooting from the field. Cousins also pulled down 19 rebounds; Davis posted a key five offensive boards.

“When we’re all clicking and all grooving, we’re a pretty good team.” – Holiday on the Pelicans when their top trio plays well at the same time

QUOTES TO NOTE

“We know that they don’t really have great rim protection. And they started three small guys. We just wanted to go out there and attack. If the threes open up, they open up, but we wanted to get to the cup early.” – Davis on NOLA’s emphasis on getting into the paint instead of relying more on outside shots

“I think we took the opportunities we had. For (Portland), trailing us off screens and running us off the (three-point) line, with their bigs being up to try to get to DeMarcus and Anthony, it gave us lanes to get to the basket. So why not take those opportunities?” – Holiday on NOLA’s style of play on offense, based on how Portland defended

“When we’re missing any of our key guys, we’re not the team we can be. His presence was felt throughout the whole entire game. His play speaks for itself.” – Cousins on the impact of Davis being back in the lineup

BY THE NUMBERS

19: New Orleans three-point attempts, its second-fewest of the entire season and least since shooting 16 vs. the Clippers on Nov. 11.

14: Portland offensive rebounds, led by three apiece from Al-Farouq Aminu and guard Shabazz Napier, who snared a couple long rebounds. That helped keep the Blazers close, though they trailed by 16 at one stage.

6/21: Combined three-point shooting by Lillard and C.J. McCollum, who’ve done major damage against New Orleans in previous seasons but have struggled in 2017-18. The Pelicans lead the season series 2-1, with one remaining March matchup.

Pelicans-Trail Blazers Postgame: Alvin Gentry 01-12-18

Head coach Alvin Gentry speaks with the media after the Pelicans 119-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018.

Game 41: Pelicans vs Trail Blazers 1/12/18

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Pelicans-Trail Blazers Postgame: Alvin Gentry 01-12-18

Head coach Alvin Gentry speaks with the media after the Pelicans 119-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018.
Jan 12, 2018  |  05:27

Pelicans-Trail Blazers Postgame: Anthony Davis 01-12-18

Forward Anthony Davis speaks with the media after the Pelicans 119-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018.
Jan 12, 2018  |  03:44

Pelicans-Trail Blazers Postgame: DeMarcus Cousins 01-12-18

Forward DeMarcus Cousins speaks with the media after the Pelicans 119-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018.
Jan 12, 2018  |  04:00

Pelicans-Trail Blazers Postgame: Jrue Holiday 01-12-18

Guard Jrue Holiday speaks with the media after the Pelicans 119-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018.
Jan 12, 2018  |  02:06

Pelicans-Trail Blazers Postgame: Ian Clark 01-12-18

Guard Ian Clark speaks with the media after the Pelicans 119-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018.
Jan 12, 2018  |  02:13

Rajon Rondo mic'd up against the Trail Blazers

Listen to why they call him the "Floor General" as we mic up Rajon Rondo.
Jan 12, 2018  |  01:25

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 119, Blazers 113

Anthony Davis headlines the night for the Pelicans with 36 points and 9 rebounds in a 119-113 win over the Blazers. Damian Lillard scored 23 points for Portland in the loss.
Jan 12, 2018  |  02:00

Anthony Davis pours in 36 vs. Blazers

Anthony Davis pours in 36 points on 16-23 shooting while grabbing 9 rebounds in the Pelicans win.
Jan 12, 2018  |  02:34

Jrue Holiday scores 25 in win vs. Blazers

Jrue Holiday knocks down 8-11 shots from the field on his way to scoring 25 points and dishing 6 assists.
Jan 12, 2018  |  01:58

Anthony Davis and Jen Hale speak postgame

Fox Sports reporter Jennifer Hale speaks with Anthony Davis he puts up 36 points and 9 rebounds.
Jan 12, 2018  |  01:53

Anthony Davis Breaks Ankles

Anthony Davis breaks Ed Davis' ankles
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:11

Pelicans Dunks on Dunks..on Dunks

The Pelicans have dunks galore in their win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Jan 12, 2018  |  01:50

Anthony Davis Put Back with Contact

Anthony Davis takes flight and finishes with contact
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:10

Davis Alley-Oop From Moore

E'Twaun Moore does a double-take and throws a lob to Anthony Davis for an alley-oop.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:21

Boogie Chase Down

DeMarcus Cousins hits the jets and gets a big block on Napier.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:40

Cousins and Holiday Give-and-Go

Holiday and Cousins execute the give-and-go from the wing.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:12

Jrue Holiday Slices Through the Defense

Jrue Holiday takes it through the paint and slices through the defense to finish with a dunk.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:08

Holiday Steal And Slam

Jrue Holiday gathers a loose ball then gets a bullet of a pass from DeMarcus Cousins for an easy slam.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:23

Cousins Baseline Jam

DeMarcus Cousins drives baseline and gets the jam with both hands ahead of Jusuf Nurkic's reach.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:19

Cousins Chase-Down Block

DeMarcus Cousins earns himself a chase-down block of Shabazz Napier after sprinting back on defense after a turnover.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:18

Cousins Chase-Down Block

DeMarcus Cousins earns himself a chase-down block of Shabazz Napier after sprinting back on defense after a turnover.
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:18

Anthony Davis Breaks Ankles

Anthony Davis breaks Ed Davis' ankles
Jan 12, 2018  |  00:11