Postgame wrap: Pistons 98, Pelicans 94

Pistons (21-26), Pelicans (22-26)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

As a member of the LA Clippers in previous years, Blake Griffin produced more than his share of big games and key baskets against New Orleans. On Wednesday, Griffin again was huge in the Smoothie King Center, this time also taking advantage of an injury absence by Anthony Davis – who consistently torments Detroit – in powering the Pistons to a road win. Griffin dominated throughout his 37-point, nine-rebound, seven-assist outing.

Playing without its five-time All-Star, New Orleans struggled mightily at the offensive end for long stretches and finished with a season low in points. The Pelicans shot poorly from three-point range, only went to the foul line nine times and tallied fewer than 25 points in three of four periods.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Detroit’s Reggie Bullock tracked down a deflected ball, drove to the other end and threw down a fast-break slam with 14 seconds left, giving the Pistons a 97-92 lead. Darius Miller had a right-side three-pointer rim in and out, leading to Detroit collecting the defensive rebound and getting fouled by the Pelicans with 8 ticks to go.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

While New Orleans sputtered as a team offensively, Jrue Holiday posted his fourth-best scoring game of 2018-19, notching 29 points on 14/24 shooting. Holiday also topped the Pelicans by handing out seven assists. New Orleans only assisted on 20 of its 42 baskets, making Holiday’s dishing even rarer.

FOCUS ON: RARE OFFENSIVE STRUGGLES

While playing without one of the NBA’s leading scorers in Davis, the Pelicans will need a team mentality to try to compensate, requiring both a balanced attack and ball movement to create open shots. New Orleans produced neither Wednesday, resulting in just 20 assists – a number Alvin Gentry said was even a bit misleadingly high. The Pelicans were disappointed that one of their better defensive performances of the entire season was squandered due to simultaneously generating such a modest point total.

“You would think if, defensively, we could hold a team to 98 points and 40 percent shooting, it should be a game that you win and we just struggled offensively throughout the night,” Gentry said.

Since recently returning from injury, Nikola Mirotic has shown flashes – including a huge night at Golden State – but still seems to be trying to get into a groove, while starters Elfrid Payton and E’Twaun Moore also experienced rough offensive nights Wednesday. The first unit shot a combined 0/6 from three-point range, but only Moore has been above average in that category throughout his pro career.

BY THE NUMBERS

1: New Orleans free throw attempts in the first half. The 4/9 shooting in that category were both season lows, surpassing eight makes and 13 attempts in the Nov. 12 road win at Toronto.

9: New Orleans blocks, led by a career-high six from Jahlil Okafor, whose previous single-game best in the NBA was four.

9: Detroit turnovers, one factor in the Pistons nearly reaching 100 points despite shooting poorly overall (40.4 percent) and at the foul line (68.4 percent).

Pelicans vs. Pistons Postgame: Head Coach Alvin Gentry 1-24-19

Head Coach Alvin Gentry reflects on tonight's tough loss against the Detroit Pistons.

Game 48: Pelicans vs Pistons 01/23/19

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

Pelicans vs. Pistons Postgame: Head Coach Alvin Gentry 1-24-19

Head Coach Alvin Gentry reflects on tonight's tough loss against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 24, 2019  |  04:43

Pelicans vs. Pistons Postgame: Jrue Holiday 1-23-19

Jrue Holiday talks about tonight's tough loss against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan 24, 2019  |  01:18

GAME RECAP: Pistons 98, Pelicans 94

Blake Griffin drops 37 points and adds nine rebounds and seven assists as Detroit comes out victorious against New Orleans.
Jan 24, 2019  |  00:00

Highlights: Jrue Holiday | Pistons vs. Pelicans

Jrue Holiday scores 29 points and adds seven assists in New Orleans loss to Detroit.
Jan 24, 2019  |  00:00

New Orleans Pelicans Highlights vs. Detroit Pistons 01-23-19

The New Orleans Pelicans put up a hard fight but fell to the Detroit Pistons 98-94 on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
Jan 23, 2019  |  02:56

Jrue Holiday leads the Pelicans with 29 points

Jrue Holiday puts up 29 points against the Detroit Pistons in the Smoothie King Center
Jan 23, 2019  |  01:53

Jahlil Okafor tallies 17 against the Pistons

Jahlil Okafor gets it done inside and puts up 17 points against the Pistons
Jan 23, 2019  |  01:54

Jahlil Okafor swats a career-high six blocks

Jahlil Okafor has himself a night defensively and racks up six blocks on the Detroit Pistons
Jan 23, 2019  |  01:06

Miller narrows the lead with a three ball

Darius Miller narrows the Pistons leads by draining a three-pointer and forcing Detroit to call a timeout
Jan 23, 2019  |  00:19

Nikola Mirotic hits the step-back three-pointer

Nikola Mirotic fools his defender and drains a step-back three-pointer
Jan 23, 2019  |  00:10

Jrue Holiday gets to the basket with ease

Jrue Holiday drives to the basket and gets past Pistons defenders with ease
Jan 23, 2019  |  00:20

Okafor fakes his defender and finishes with the slam

Jahlil Okafor fakes his defender under the basket and goes up for the reverse one-hand slam
Jan 23, 2019  |  00:22

Jahlil Okafor protects the rim

Jahlil Okafor protects the rim as he stuffs a member of the Pistons
Jan 23, 2019  |  00:17

Julius Randle sneaks behind Pistons defenders

Julius Randle sneaks behind the Pistons defenders and receives a pass for Jrue Holiday to go up for the and-1
Jan 23, 2019  |  00:17
NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter