Postgame recap: Pelicans 123, Trail Blazers 116

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Pelicans (12-11), Trail Blazers (13-10)

PORTLAND – There’s an old basketball saying that great shooting is the cure for many ills. For New Orleans on Saturday, it was the remedy for having to play without one of its best players, four-time All-Star forward Anthony Davis. With the Pelicans awaiting further word on Davis’ left pelvis injury, New Orleans improved to 2-0 this season in games with Davis sidelined, including the Week 2 comeback win at Sacramento on TNT.

New Orleans shot 15/31 from three-point range against Portland, posting a rare triumph in Moda Center. A night earlier, the Pelicans were 15/30 at Utah, but couldn’t hold off the Jazz in the second half of a six-point defeat. DeMarcus Cousins powered New Orleans in the Portland paint, finishing with 38 points and 13 rebounds. As a result, the Pelicans tied their season high by piling up 123 points. Their 63 second-half points was a season best.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

E’Twaun Moore sank two free throws with 7.4 seconds left, giving New Orleans a three-possession advantage. Portland provided a momentary scare on the previous play, missing a reverse layup that would’ve cut the margin to only three points after it had been eight moments earlier.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Facing a Portland defense that prefers not to double-team or send help defenders unless it’s imperative, Cousins met single coverage much of the night and pierced it repeatedly. The three-time All-Star shot 14 of 28 from the field, going over or around Portland centers Jusuf Nurkic and Meyers Leonard. Nurkic’s foul trouble while trying to defend Cousins limited him to only 24 minutes of action, while Leonard also picked up a handful of fouls. Cousins went 8/13 at the foul line. E’Twaun Moore also deserved kudos for the Pelicans by scoring 19 points on only seven shots from the field. Moore was 4/4 on three-pointers.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“It was a good team effort. We got the ball moving. We took the best shots available. I tried to come out and be aggressive, and keep pressuring their bigs.” – Cousins on the road win

“Tough one. We felt like we should’ve gotten that win last night, but coming in here against two good scorers, a great team, this was a good end to a road trip.” – Jrue Holiday (17 points, seven assists) in his postgame radio interview on prevailing in Portland while facing Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, who combined to shoot 19/47 from the field

“We’re playing for Anthony, praying that he comes back soon. Please (come back) Monday.” – Holiday on Davis’ status. New Orleans hosts Golden State on Monday, the start of a four-game homestand

“We had been down 14 before in plenty of games. It’s a long game, it’s a game of runs. We knew if we just played defense and gave the ball to DeMarcus, we’d give ourselves a chance to win the game.” – Holiday on rebounding from an early 31-17 deficit

BY THE NUMBERS

8: Pelicans players who made at least one three-pointer, including the entire starting lineup. Moore led the way with four treys, while Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Dante Cunningham and reserve Darius Miller knocked down two apiece.

52.3: New Orleans shooting percentage from the field. Moore topped this category as well by going 6/7 from the field. The starters were an excellent 36/66.

15: Plus-minus for Rondo, who dished out 10 of New Orleans’ 22 assists. The Pelicans were outscored by eight points when he was off the floor.

Cousins Dominates Blazers with 38 Points

DeMarcus Cousins was dominant in the Pelicans win over the Trailblazers, scoring 38 points on 50% shooting from the field.

Game 23: Pelicans at Trailblazers 12/2/17

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Cousins Dominates Blazers with 38 Points

DeMarcus Cousins was dominant in the Pelicans win over the Trailblazers, scoring 38 points on 50% shooting from the field.
Dec 3, 2017  |  01:51

Jrue Holiday with 17 Points

Jrue Holiday scored 17 points to go with stifling defense in a win over the Trailblazers.
Dec 3, 2017  |  01:54

E'Twaun Moore with 19 points and 4-4 from 3

E'Twaun Moore scores 19 points, going 4 for 4 from behind the arc in the win against the Trailblazers.
Dec 3, 2017  |  01:13

Pelicans with 15 3-Pointers vs Blazers

The Pelicans shot 48.4% from 3 point land, going 15-31 and beating the Portland Trailblazers on the road 123-116.
Dec 3, 2017  |  01:53

Rajon Rondo with the nice drive

Rondo drives to the hole and gets the sweet finish.
Dec 2, 2017  |  00:20

DeMarcus Cousins And-1

DeMarcus Cousins with the strong drive and finish.
Dec 2, 2017  |  00:14

Pelicans vs Trailblazers 1st Half Highlights 12-2-17

Pelicans take the 1st half 60-57 against the Portland Trailblazers. DeMarcus Cousins leads all players with 16 points.
Dec 2, 2017  |  02:28

Pelicans rain 3's in the 3rd

Pelicans are shooting 56% from 3-point land as they stretch their lead to 18 in the third quarter vs the Portland Trailblazers.
Dec 2, 2017  |  00:55

DeMarcus Cousins off the dribble

DeMarcus Cousins is an unstoppable force off the dribble with the And-1.
Dec 2, 2017  |  00:17

Pelicans vs Trailblazers Full Game Highlights 12-2-17

The Pelicans defeated the Portland Trailblazers 123-116. DeMarcus Cousins went for 38 points. The Pelicans went 15-31 from behind the arc.
Dec 2, 2017  |  05:42