The New Orleans Pelicans faced the reigning NBA champions, Cleveland Cavaliers, without star forward Anthony Davis. Fortunately, Terrence Jones and Jrue Holiday stepped up to fill Davis’ absence and helped the team grab a 124-122 victory on Monday night at Smoothie King Center.
Jones led the Pelicans, scoring season-high 36 points, and grabbing 11 rebounds. Holiday posted a double-double, 33 points, and 10 assists, and Langston Galloway added 12 points and six rebounds. The Pelicans entered the game without Anthony Davis on their side due to a bruised right quad.
However, they still managed to outscore the Cavaliers in the first and second quarter, ending the first half with a 20-point lead. The Cavaliers’ “Big Three” started dominating in the second half with the hope of overturning the outcome of the game.
Kyrie Irving scored 35 of his 49 points in the second half. With 21 seconds remaining in the game, Irving knocked down a three-pointer to decrease the deficit to three. Solomon Hill hit one of two free throws and Irving missed a three-pointer with 7.1 seconds remaining.
Iman Shumpert sent Terrence Jones to the free throw line. Jones hit one of two free throws to secure a five-point lead. Kevin Love, who scored 22 points, notched a three-pointer but not enough to defeat the Pelicans. LeBron James posted a triple-double, 26 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.
Tyronn Lue thinks the Cavs will be fine
The Cavaliers remain as the top team in the Eastern Conference but lost six of their last 10 games. However, coach Tyronn Lue doesn’t look worried with their recent struggle. He planned to reduce the minutes of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in the next couple of weeks.
“We’ll have to see,” Lue said. “I think the team is in a good spot, a good place. Adding Korver for an added dimension to our team and what we’re trying to do. We’ll be fine.”
The Cavaliers will start a three-game homestand against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. Here are the game highlights between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Orleans Pelicans:
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA Conference