What the New Orleans Pelicans had to say about 102-97 loss to the Kings (3/31/14)

Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams
On not playing at the same level as in recent games

“They out-rebounded us by 17. They had 15 offensive rebounds. We just did not have a great level of sustained effort tonight. Our bench came in and gave us great effort. Austin (Rivers) picked up full court (well). A-Mo (Anthony Morrow) was really good at knocking down shots and playing defense tonight. To start the game and in the third quarter defensively, we (gave up) 29 points and 27 points…that is not our team. We didn’t have that scrappiness that we have been playing with. In order to have a chance to win with the guys that we have, we have to play with that level of energy that gives us a shot to compete, especially on the defensive end.”

On the Kings being fueled by the physical play

“I think they were putting their hands on us in a way that had us on our heels a little bit. The rebounding (was a key). They wanted the ball more than we did on shots. Some of the bounces didn’t go our way, but a number of them were just (that) they wanted the ball more and they were physical all night long.”

Pelicans Center Alexis Ajinca
On the Pelicans playing style tonight
“Yeah we didn’t show up and play the defense that we’ve been playing lately. We didn’t have our usual energy, I’m a big part of that tonight. I don’t know what happened, I just wasn’t there tonight. We just have to bounce back and be ready to fight in the next game.”

On playing against DeMarcus Cousins
“It’s tough because as soon as you touch him, you get fouled. It’s tough to play defense on him. He’s a good player, very talented, but it’s tough to defend against him. Just keeping him off the board was hard. I didn’t think we competed well compared to other nights, but we have two days to bounce back.”

Pelicans Guard Anthony Morrow
On what made the Kings successful tonight
“(DeMarcus) Cousins. He draws so much attention, he’s probably the best in the NBA in my opinion. He puts so much effort in the way he plays. I think my guys played hard, he just put a lot of pressure on us tonight. We couldn’t really bounce back from the first quarter and the third. As a team we just need to bring more energy from top to bottom.”

On if the Kings were more physical than the Pelicans
"I don’t think it’s a secret or anything, we don’t have a lot of girth but we have to bring energy from all over to make up for that. We have tomorrow to bounce back. We have to watch the film and get back to work."