Jahlil Okafor takes a mid-range shot over Andre Drummond

Postgame wrap: Pelicans 117, Pistons 110 (OT)

Pelicans (15-26), Pistons (14-27)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

DETROIT – With New Orleans lacking numerous key contributors due to injury Monday, it took everyone in a Pelicans uniform to secure a road victory. After a furious Detroit fourth-quarter rally, it also took five extra minutes of basketball.

While playing without starters Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick and Derrick Favors, the Pelicans still led for the vast majority of Monday’s interconference matchup, but only managed to score 13 points in the fourth quarter, allowing the Pistons to force overtime. In the extra session, Lonzo Ball helped lift New Orleans to a win by scoring five points, pushing the visitors to a lead.

“(Before the game) we said that over the course of an NBA season, you’re going to get an opportunity at some stage,” Pelicans fifth-year head coach Alvin Gentry said, alluding to several lesser-used players filling larger roles Monday. “The big question is will you take advantage of that opportunity when it’s there? I thought everybody we put in the game (contributed).”

As a result of their key DNPs, the Pelicans only had 10 men in uniform. Nicolo Melli made the first start of his NBA career and delivered a career-high 20 points, while rookie two-way player Zylan Cheatham logged his most significant playing time of 2019-20, grabbing three rebounds and blocking a shot in 11 minutes.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Detroit misfired on a right-wing three-pointer trailing by six points, resulting in a New Orleans defensive rebound. With 25 seconds left, Ball went to the foul line and missed both free throws, but the Pelicans retained possession when the ball went out of bounds. At 19 ticks left, Melli finally iced it for New Orleans by canning a pair of foul shots for a 115-107 edge.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Top-tier NBA centers, beware. Jahlil Okafor may not always play a ton of minutes for New Orleans, but when he’s matched up this season against some of the league’s premier bigs, he’s been at his best.

After rolling to a 26-point night vs. Denver and Nikola Jokic in a victory on Halloween, the Duke University product outplayed Detroit’s Andre Drummond, finishing with 25 points and 14 rebounds. There aren't many "fives" with traditional size roaming the paint anymore these days, but Okafor has produced his two best games of the season against them.

BY THE NUMBERS

61-43: New Orleans rebounding edge, which helped even out the opportunities to score and overcome committing too many turnovers. The Pelicans grabbed 17 offensive boards, led by Okafor’s six and Frank Jackson’s four.

35, 34: Three-point percentage for New Orleans and Detroit, respectively. Three-point shooting can often swing the results of NBA games these days, but on Monday it was essentially a wash. Detroit is the league’s third-best team percentage-wise in the category but went 11/32.

19: New Orleans turnovers, leading to 29 Detroit points. This was one blemish on the night for New Orleans, which helped the Pistons generate enough offense to come back from a 16-point deficit. Detroit is also playing without key members Blake Griffin, Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson.

#WEEKLYREVIEW

A well-rounded stretch of four games led to Lonzo Ball being voted the winner for Week 12, his second straight honor. The point guard has been at his best since late December, and over a four-game span vs. Utah, Chicago, New York and Boston, the third-year pro averaged 14.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.5 assists in Week 12. He shot 36 percent from three-point range.

Previous winners:

Week 1-3: Brandon Ingram

Week 4: Jrue Holiday

Week 5-9: Brandon Ingram

Week 10: Derrick Favors

Week 11: Lonzo Ball

NBA Gametime: Okafor, short-handed Pelicans dismantle Pistons

Rex Chapman and Grant Hill react to the big game by Jahlil Okafor leading the short-handed Pelicans to a road win over Detroit.

Game 41: Pelicans at Pistons 1/13/20

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NBA Gametime: Okafor, short-handed Pelicans dismantle Pistons

Rex Chapman and Grant Hill react to the big game by Jahlil Okafor leading the short-handed Pelicans to a road win over Detroit.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:01

Pelicans vs. Pistons Postgame: Lonzo Ball 1-13-20

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball recaps tonights away win against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 13, 2020  |  01:51

Pelicans vs. Pistons Postgame: Jahlil Okafor 1-13-20

New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor recaps tonights away win against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 13, 2020  |  02:43

Pelicans vs. Pistons Postgame: Nicolò Melli 1-13-20

New Orleans Pelicans forward Nicolò Melli recaps tonights away win against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 13, 2020  |  02:31

60-Second Recap: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Detroit Pistons

Get your 60-second recap of the New Orleans Pelicans 117-110 overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:01

Calls of the Game: New Orleans Pelicans vs Detroit Pistons - Game 41 - Jan. 13, 2020

Hear the voice of the New Orleans Pelicans, Todd Graffagnini, call the Pelicans game against the Detroit Pistons on the Pelicans Radio Network, ESPN 100.3 FM New Orleans. Listen in.
Jan 13, 2020  |  01:44

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Jahlil Okafor tallies 25 points vs. Detroit Pistons

New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor scored 25 points and pulled down 14 boards in the team's overtime win against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:01

Pelicans On-Court Postgame Interviews: Jahlil Okafor vs. Pistons

New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor speaks with Fox Sports New Orleans reporter Jen Hale about the teams performance in the overtime win against the Detroit Pistons
Jan 13, 2020  |  01:26

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Lonzo Ball step-back triple

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball steps backs and knocks down the three-pointer.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:17

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Nicolo Melli running hook

New Orleans Pelicans forward Nicolo Melli cuts across the lane and connects on the running hook shot.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:21

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Zylan Cheatham making plays

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zylan Cheatham gets it done on both ends of the floor with a big block and reverse lay-up.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:20

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Frank Jackson splits the defense

New Orleans Pelicans guard Frank Jackson splits the defense with a strong move to the rim.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:17

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Jahlil Okafor's revenge jam over Drummond

New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor rises up for the second chance slam.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:00

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Nicolo Melli reverse lay-up

New Orleans Pelicans forward Nicolo Melli runs the floor and finishes with the nifty reverse.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:10

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Jahlil Okafor And-1

New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor goes to work in the paint and finishes with the bucket and foul.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:15

Pelicans at Pistons Highlights: Alley-oop finish by Jaxson Hayes

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes cuts to the rim and slams home the lob.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:00

Pelicans Shootaround: Alvin Gentry 1-13-20

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry talks to the media prior to Monday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 13, 2020  |  02:21

Pelicans Shootaround: Brandon Ingram 1-13-20

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram talks to the media prior to Monday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 13, 2020  |  02:38

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 117, Pistons 110

Jahlil Okafor scores 25 points with 14 rebounds and Nicolo Melli adds 20 as New Orleans wins it in overtime, 117-110.
Jan 13, 2020  |  00:01

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