Postgame recap: Raptors 125, Pelicans 116

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || VIDEOS

Raptors (9-5), Pelicans (8-7)

In his second regular season game with New Orleans, Rajon Rondo made his first start and helped power the Pelicans to a lead for much of the opening half Wednesday. Facing a minute restriction, however, the veteran point guard couldn’t help in the second half – and Toronto took full advantage. The Raptors turned a close game into a double-digit margin behind a prolific offensive night, featuring red-hot shooting from the field and beyond the arc.

The Pelicans continued their recent above-average play on offense, but defensively couldn’t get nearly enough stops against the Raptors. Toronto finished at 59.2 percent from the field and connected on 16 of 34 three-point attempts.

Rondo handed out eight assists in just 14:14 of playing time, while scoring four points and picking up a steal. It’s possible his minute workload will increase Friday, when New Orleans visits Denver in an ESPN national TV game.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Toronto reserve guard Fred VanVleet drove to the hoop for an easy layup on the left side, giving the Raptors a 110-93 lead with 7:18 remaining. The bucket capped a series of plays in which the visitors found an uncontested path to the rim for scores, after they previously went on a three-point shooting binge. New Orleans never seriously threatened from there, subbing in deep reserves with 2:10 left and still trailing by 16.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

With DeMarcus Cousins (25 points, 9 rebounds) and Anthony Davis (19 points) in constant foul trouble, Jrue Holiday turned in a second straight above-average offensive performance against Toronto. Six days after he went for a season-best 34 points in Air Canada Centre, this time Holiday notched 18 points and five assists. Pelicans reserves Darius Miller, Jameer Nelson and Cheick Diallo were part of a decent offensive performance for the hosts, combining to shoot 11/18 from the field.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“It’s hard when your two best players are on the bench.” – Alvin Gentry noting the difficulty for the Pelicans of being without Cousins and Davis for stretches. They both finished with five fouls

“If you’ve got to ask me about it, you already know the answer to it.” – Cousins, when a media member asked for his opinion of Wednesday’s officiating

“Rotations were bad. Communication was pretty bad. We let guys who are known shooters get wide-open shots, so that’s on us. We were a bit limited tonight.” – Cousins on New Orleans’ defense against Toronto

“We’ve got to play harder, play better. They shot the ball well, 59 percent, and a high percentage from three. It’s tough to get out and run when you’re getting the ball out of the basket.” – Davis on his reaction to the Pelicans faring well in several categories but still losing

BY THE NUMBERS

5: Consecutive games in which New Orleans has shot over 50 percent from the field, a franchise record. The Pelicans just surpassed the mark by going 46 of 91 vs. Toronto, or 50.5 percent.

21: Toronto turnovers. Given that stat, it’s fairly incredible that the Raptors were still able to score 125 points.

8: New Orleans slams. At home games this season, Zatarain’s will donate meals to the Second Harvest Food Bank for every Pelicans dunk. That number could continue to increase now that Rondo is in uniform and playing more.

Pelicans vs. Raptors Postgame: Head Coach Alvin Gentry 11-15-17

Head Coach Alvin Gentry speaks to the media following the Pelicans' match up against the Toronto Raptors at the Smoothie King Center.

Game 15: Pelicans vs. Raptors 11/15/17

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Pelicans vs. Raptors Postgame: Head Coach Alvin Gentry 11-15-17

Head Coach Alvin Gentry speaks to the media following the Pelicans' match up against the Toronto Raptors at the Smoothie King Center.
Nov 15, 2017  |  02:19

Pelicans vs. Raptors Postgame: Darius Miller 11-15-17

Darius Miller talked about what the team needs to improve on moving forward.
Nov 15, 2017  |  01:21

Cousins Scores 25 vs. Raptors

DeMarcus Cousins scores 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Nov 15, 2017  |  01:40

Rondo to Davis

Rajon Rondo gets the pass on the baseline and finds a cutting Anthony Davis for the highlight jam.
Nov 15, 2017  |  00:22

Textbook Touches

Pelicans ball movement leads to the Anthony Davis dunk.
Nov 15, 2017  |  00:11

Holiday Has Hops

Pelicans Jrue Holiday cleans up the missed shot with the big slam.
Nov 15, 2017  |  00:25

Cunningham Goes Up and Under

Pelicans Rajon Rondo finds Dante Cunningham in the paint for the reverse.
Nov 15, 2017  |  00:27

Cousins Goes Up Strong

Pelicans DeMarcus Cousins fights for the rebounds and goes up strong for the bucket and the foul.
Nov 15, 2017  |  00:26