Postgame recap: Timberwolves 118, Pelicans 107

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Timberwolves (34-22), Pelicans (28-24)

MINNEAPOLIS – Anthony Davis posted big individual numbers for a second straight night on New Orleans’ two-game Northwest Division road trip Saturday, but this time it wasn’t enough, as Minnesota capped a four-game season-series sweep of the Pelicans. Hosting a game on Super Bowl Eve in Minneapolis, the Timberwolves built a 22-point lead and kept the visitors at a comfortable distance for a large portion of the night.

In his debut with New Orleans, forward Nikola Mirotic contributed a double-double, consisting of 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Davis, who deposited 43 points Friday at Oklahoma City, this time notched 38 points before being taken out of the game with Minnesota in control late in the fourth quarter.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Minnesota ran out for a fast-break dunk after a New Orleans turnover, pushing its lead to 114-99 with 3:35 remaining. With just under two minutes left, New Orleans subbed in deep reserve Charles Cooke, still down by double digits, and took Davis out of the game after his 38-9 performance.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Davis was well on his way to another colossal performance when he poured in 19 points in the first quarter, using his athleticism and length to score over the top against the Timberwolves. He finished 16/30 from the field and 5/5 from the foul line, but the rest of New Orleans’ starting lineup shot just 10/29; Alvin Gentry noted afterward that a few of his players didn’t appear to have the same burst as Friday in Oklahoma City. Davis was not one of those Pelicans, however.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“It was impressive. When (Minnesota was defending) the pick-and-roll, everyone was with Davis, so I was wide-open... there is a lot (for me) to learn here, but I am really excited to be here.” – Mirotic on watching Davis go for 38 points in Mirotic’s Pelicans debut

“He played well. He was able to space the floor and make some great plays defensively. We’re glad to have him. Now it’s about trying to figure everything out, fitting him into the offense. We were just running random stuff and he was able to be successful.” – Davis on Mirotic’s initial game with his new team

“The way he played tonight, he earned the opportunity for more minutes. That’s a situation where we’ll try to get him more. His activity on the boards was really good; his running and getting out (in transition) was good also.” – Alvin Gentry on Cheick Diallo (10 points, 10 rebounds), who joined Mirotic in compiling a double-double off the New Orleans bench

BY THE NUMBERS

51-50: The title of a popular, old-school Van Halen album, but also New Orleans’ narrow rebounding margin over Minnesota on Friday. The Pelicans have had problems on the backboards lately, but Mirotic helped New Orleans there immediately. The team’s 18 offensive rebounds (six by Mirotic) were a season high.

8/33: New Orleans three-point shooting. If you subtract Mirotic’s 3/8 game, the Pelicans were just 5/25 from deep, or 20 percent.

3-0: New Orleans record against Minnesota in head-to-head games last season. The Timberwolves managed to completely flip that in 2017-18, going 4-0 vs. the Pelicans. It helps that Minnesota underwent an extreme makeover in the offseason, adding major talents Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford.

Pelicans-Timberwolves Postgame: Alvin Gentry 2-3-2018

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry recaps tonight's road game vs the Minnesota Timberwolves

Game 52: Pelicans at Timberwolves 2/3/18

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Pelicans-Timberwolves Postgame: Alvin Gentry 2-3-2018

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry recaps tonight's road game vs the Minnesota Timberwolves
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Dunkin' Davis

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Davis Follow-Up Slam

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