Postgame wrap: Pelicans 107, Bulls 98

Pelicans (5-6), Bulls (3-9)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

With the team’s starting point guard sidelined and its best player appearing to be less than 100 percent, New Orleans had recently experienced a frustrating winless road trip vs. formidable Western Conference competition. Elfrid Payton remained out of action Wednesday, but the Pelicans’ five-time All-Star, Anthony Davis, demonstrated that he may soon be returning to full strength.

Prior to exiting Wednesday’s interconference matchup late in the third quarter due to being inadvertently struck in the face by teammate Julius Randle, Davis piled up 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in only 30 minutes of playing time. He re-entered midway through the fourth quarter, finishing with 32, 15 and seven, the latter being one assist shy of tying his career high.

“It felt good,” Davis said of reclaiming his usual dominance. “(The previous struggles were) just thinking too much (in previous games). I wasn’t playing like myself. Coach (Alvin Gentry) just brought me in and talked to me a little bit (about) getting back to being me.”

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

In his third straight game as a starter at small forward, Wesley Johnson drained a right-wing jumper, giving the Pelicans a 98-88 lead with 4:17 remaining. Chicago later cut its deficit to six at a couple stages, but never seriously threatened the hosts.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Davis set the tone for a victory by notching 22 points in the first half, staking New Orleans to a 58-50 lead. Davis started 1/5 from the field, but then sank his next eight shots. No other Pelican produced big numbers offensively, but Nikola Mirotic had another strong rebounding performance (15, one shy of his career high he set in each of the previous two games) and Jrue Holiday handed out nine assists. Holiday nearly had a triple-double, compiling 17 points and 10 rebounds.

POSITIONAL FOCUS: SMALL FORWARD

Johnson has produced increasingly greater results in each of his starts, highlighted by him cracking double digits in scoring Wednesday (12 points) for the first time since January of last season, when he was a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. Though he was moved into the starting five Saturday at San Antonio in large part due to his defense, Johnson was very efficient offensively against the Bulls, going 5/7 from the field and 2/3 from three-point range. Off the bench, Darius Miller was solid, scoring 11 points on only six shots (3/4 on treys). Rookie Kenrich Williams also played four minutes, making just his fourth appearance of the regular season.

“He can shoot the ball,” Davis said of Johnson’s impact. “He can defend, so it doesn’t put a lot of pressure on Jrue to guard some of the bigger guys. A couple days ago (Johnson) guarded Paul George. He’s been good for us.”

BY THE NUMBERS

29-18: New Orleans edge in bench scoring, led by 12 from Randle and 11 by Miller.

9/26: Shooting from the field by Chicago’s Zach LaVine, who was held below his scoring average of 27.9 points and needed a boatload of shots to get to his 22 points. Holiday played some aggressive defense against the Bulls’ prolific two-guard.

55-46: New Orleans rebounding advantage, led by 15 boards apiece from Davis and Mirotic.

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 107, Bulls 98

Anthony Davis notches a double-double with 32 points and grabs 15 rebounds as the Pelicans defeat the Bulls, 107-98.

Game 11: Pelicans-Bulls 11-07-18

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GAME RECAP: Pelicans 107, Bulls 98

Anthony Davis notches a double-double with 32 points and grabs 15 rebounds as the Pelicans defeat the Bulls, 107-98.
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:00

Pelicans vs. Bulls Postgame: Head Coach Alvin Gentry 11-7-18

Head Coach Alvin Gentry talks to the media after the Pelicans pick up a win at home against the Chicago Bulls.
Nov 7, 2018  |  06:52

Pelicans vs. Bulls Postgame: Anthony Davis 11-7-18

Anthony Davis talks about how he got back on track tonight against the Chicago Bulls.
Nov 7, 2018  |  03:36

Pelicans vs. Bulls Postgame: Wesley Johnson 11-7-18

Wesley Johnson talks about how he is fitting in with the starting line up.
Nov 7, 2018  |  01:23

Highlights: Anthony Davis racks up 32 points vs. Chicago Bulls

Pelicans Anthony Davis returned to form, racking up 32 points against the Chicago Bulls at the Smoothie King Center.
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:00

Anthony Davis' courtside interview with Jen Hale

Anthony Davis speaks with Jen Hale after putting up 32 points against the Chicago Bulls.
Nov 7, 2018  |  02:09

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Chicago Bulls Highlights

The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Chicago Bulls 107-98 in the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Nov 7, 2018  |  01:53

Jrue Holiday protects the rim

Jrue Holiday protects the rim and comes up with a big block against the Bulls
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:12

Davis rejects Lavine

Anthony Davis protects the rim and comes up with a big block against Zach Lavine
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:09

Wesley Johnson sinks the three

Wesley Johnson extends the Pelicans lead by draining the three ball
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:09

Anthony Davis puts up 22 points against the Bulls in the first half

Anthony Davis makes his presence known by putting up 22 points in the first half against the Bulls
Nov 7, 2018  |  01:39

Anthony Davis soars for the reverse alley-oop

Anthony Davis takes off over Bulls defenders and throws it down for the reverse alley-oop
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:14

Jrue Holiday throws down the hammer

Jrue Holiday throws it down with authority over Bulls defenders.
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:22

E'Twaun Moore curls in the and-one layup off the fast break

E'Twaun Moore runs the floor and gets the and-1
Nov 7, 2018  |  00:00

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