HOUSTON – The New Orleans Pelicans limped into the Toyota Center on Tuesday missing five of their top six scorers because of injuries in the midst of a media firestorm a day after news cornerstone Anthony Davis' trade request. [
The Pelicans face a pivotal.
The Pelicans face a pivotal.
The Pelicans manage to leave with a 121-116 win over the Houston Rockets.
The Pelicans face a pivotal moment in Anthony Davis' trade request.
Pelicans forward Anthony Davis has been fined $ 50,000 by the NBA after his agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN of his client's desire to be traded, a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.
"I think it's more about the tonight than anything team," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "We've got a good group. All we talk about and have talked about is to have a team, and what are you guys to do?" other, play hard and play unselfishly. "
The Pelicans rallied from a 15-point deficit by picking apart a sloppy Rocket's defense and disrupting the rhythm of Houston star James Harden.
While Harden extended his streak of 30-plus-point outings to 24 games – a run surpassed by Wilt Chamberlain – he had one of his least efficient performances of the season. Harden was 11-of-32 from the floor and 6-of-18 from 3-point range.
Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans' only available regular starter, earned much of the credit for Harden's relative struggles. New Orleans frequently trapped Harden, trying to force the ball out of his hands, but holiday spearheaded the defensive effort against the MVP's reigning. Harden.
"Jrue Holiday is probably one of the best defenders in the league, if not the best," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Obviously, he did a heck of a job on him."
Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor, a former no. 3 overall pick who is a reclamation project, continuing his impressive production while playing heavy minutes due to injuries to Davis (finger), Nikola Mirotic (calf) and Julius Randle (ankle). Okafor had a team-high score of 27 points and 12 rebounds in 37 minutes.
The Pelicans Kenrich Williams, whose 16 rebounds against the Rockets exceeded his previous season total.
" "Okafor, who had his third 20-point night and fourth double-double in the last five games.
James Harden says the Rockets "had no energy" in their 121-116 loss to the pelicans, adding how it was a "let down."
The Pelicans downplayed the distancing stemming from the situation with Davis, whose agent Rich Paul informed New Orleans management that the perennial All-Star big man would decline a supermax contract extension offer this summer and preferred to be traded
"We're here to play basketball," said Holiday, who had 19 points, six rebounds and eight assists in addition to his six blocks. Given the opportunity, given encouragement from coaches and teammates with each other, it's pretty easy to play with these guys. "
Davis treated his teammates to a seafood dinner in Houston on Monday night and watched Tuesday's on the bench in street clothes. He's Pointered to the New Orleans (23-28) wrapped up in the late-night rally.
For Houston, it's a bitter way to end January, when Harden averaged 43.6 Michael Jordan in March 1987 to score 600 points in a month. The Rockets (29-21) bemoaned their lack of energy and attention to detail on the release of the short-handed Pelicans to shoot.
"Terrible loss for us," Harden said. "Terrible, letdown."