Postgame recap: Pelicans 128, Nets 113

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || QUOTES || VIDEOS

Pelicans (18-16), Nets (12-22)

New Orleans has been led by a few excellent-passing point guards in its 16-year franchise history, including multi-time All-Star Chris Paul, but no floor general ever handed out more assists in a game than Rajon Rondo on Wednesday vs. Brooklyn. Amid an outstanding offensive performance by his team, Rondo broke the franchise record by dishing out 25 assists, which is also his career high.

For the third time this season, New Orleans won a third consecutive game, but the current mini-streak is a bit different from the others. Behind a rout over Brooklyn, the Pelicans won a third straight game by double figures, the first time they’ve done so in 2017-18. That’s a feat New Orleans only accomplished once over 82 games last season.

In addition to Rondo’s rare night passing the ball, Anthony Davis posted a unique combination of perimeter prowess (tied career high with four three-pointers) and interior defensive intimidation (set season high with six blocks). Paired with DeMarcus Cousins over the past season-plus, Davis isn’t needed as much to put up monster statistical lines, but he did so Wednesday, finishing with 33 points and 11 rebounds.                                         

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

At least it seemed over when New Orleans built a 33-point lead in the third quarter, then began subbing in deep reserves, but Brooklyn went on a 17-0 run to close the period. The Pelicans then brought back in their starting five at the outset of the fourth quarter to regain command.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Rondo is one of the best assist men in NBA history, so it’s always noteworthy when he turns in one of the greatest passing nights of his 12-year career. The Kentucky product cleared his previous career high of 24 assists by one dime, part of a 40-assist game from New Orleans, a team record. Rondo helped set the tone in the first half, when the Pelicans assisted on 21 of their 24 hoops. He notched 11 assists in the first half, followed by 14 after the break.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“It’s definitely an honor to be mentioned with those guys, especially passing the ball, which I take pride in.” – Rondo on becoming only the fourth player in NBA history with multiple games of 23-plus assists. The others are Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson and John Stockton

“The number one thing is we got the win. And then me personally, I love passing the ball. When everyone touches the ball, it gives you energy and life on defense. That’s what I’m a big believer in, giving everyone touches and energy on both ends of the floor.” – Rondo on the Pelicans winning and his philosophy

“We had (48) baskets and 40 assists, so that speaks for itself. It wasn’t just me; it was a collective effort of our team. The ball was hopping and we were making plays for one another.” – Rondo on the team’s overall performance offensively

“In shootaround today, Rondo told me he needed six blocks tonight. I’m happy I got them so I can go (into the postgame locker room) and talk some trash to him.” – Davis on WRNO 99.5 FM postgame radio, discussing part of his motivation for a six-block night

BY THE NUMBERS

6,241: Career assists for Rondo, who entered Wednesday’s game with 6,216.

0.9: Amount Rondo raised his season average in assists Wednesday, bumping it from 7.4 to 8.3. He does not qualify yet among the league leaders, according to ESPN.com, but a rate of 8.3 would rank him fourth in the NBA, behind only Russell Westbrook, James Harden and LeBron James.

6: Pelicans players who had multiple assists, led by Rondo’s 25, but Cousins (27 points, 14 rebounds) notched five and four other players had two helpers. 

Rajon Rondo Dishes Out 25 Assists vs. Nets | December 27, 2017

Rajon Rondo notches career-high 25 assists in the Pelicans' win over the Nets.

Game 34: Pelicans vs. Nets 12/27/17

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Rajon Rondo Dishes Out 25 Assists vs. Nets | December 27, 2017

Rajon Rondo notches career-high 25 assists in the Pelicans' win over the Nets.
Dec 27, 2017  |  01:13

On-Court Postgame Interview: Rajon Rondo

Fox Sports New Orleans Jen Hale speaks with Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo following his career-high 25 assists against the Nets.
Dec 27, 2017  |  01:42

Pelicans vs Nets Postgame: DeMarcus Cousins 12-27-17

Forward DeMarcus Cousins speaks with the media after the New Orleans Pelicans' 128-113 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Smoothie King Center on December 27, 2017.
Dec 27, 2017  |  04:30

Pelicans vs Nets Postgame: Alvin Gentry 12-27-17

Head Coach Alvin Gentry speaks with the media after the New Orleans Pelicans' 128-113 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Smoothie King Center on December 27, 2017.
Dec 27, 2017  |  05:28

Pelicans vs Nets Postgame: Jrue Holiday 12-27-17

Guard Jrue Holiday speaks with the media after the New Orleans Pelicans' 128-113 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Smoothie King Center on December 27, 2017.
Dec 27, 2017  |  02:08

Pelicans vs Nets Postgame: Rajon Rondo 12-27-17

Point Guard Rajon Rondo talks to the media after notching a career-high 25 assists in the Pelicans 128-113 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Smoothie King Center on December 27, 2017.
Dec 27, 2017  |  02:54

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 128, Nets 113

Anthony Davis scores 33 points and 11 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo dishes out 25 assists to lead the Pelicans to a win over the Nets.
Dec 27, 2017  |  01:40

Anthony Davis Scores 33 vs. Nets | December 27, 2017

Anthony Davis notches a double-double of 33 points and 11 rebounds in the Pelicans win over the Nets.
Dec 27, 2017  |  02:03

DeMarcus Cousins Scores 27 vs. Nets | December 27, 2017

DeMarcus Cousins help lead the Pelicans over the Nets with a double-double of 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Dec 27, 2017  |  02:03

Nightly Notable: Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis scored 33 points and collected 11 rebounds as the Pelicans took down the Nets.
Dec 28, 2017  |  01:54

Rondo to Davis Alley-Oop

Pelicans Rajon Rondo throws the perfect pass to Anthony Davis for the alley-oop
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:20

Davis Stepback Jumper

Anthony Davis drives and steps back before sinking the jumper.
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:18

Davis Drive And Layup

Anthony Davis gets down the court in transition and drives for the layup.
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:15

Holiday Knocks Down the Three

Jrue Holiday gets the overhead pass from Rajon Rondo and drains the corner three.
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:15

Rondo Dropping Dimes

Jrue Holiday soars for the layup after getting the nice bounce pass from Rajon Rondo.
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:16

Rondo Assists With The Three

Nice ball movement ends with Rajon Rondo dishing it to E'Twaun Moore for the triple.
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:17

Moore on the Run

Pelicans E'Twaun Moore breaks up the pass and takes it down the floor for the lay-up.
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:14

Dunkin' Dante

Pelicans DeMarcus Cousins feeds Dante Cunningham on the back door cut for the slam.
Dec 27, 2017  |  00:15