The Detroit Pistons have been on fire lately, beating almost everyone in their path. On Wednesday, however, they were no match for the New Orleans Pelicans, who raced out to a 58-36 halftime lead and won, 105-94.
“We knew it was going to be a tough test for us,” Pelicans guard Jimmer Fredette said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They’ve been really good as of late – just playing really good basketball and moving the ball well. They’ve got two bigs inside that are really tough and a lot of shooters on the perimeter. So you knew it was going to be a tough game for us. I was proud of our guys who came out and started the game focused. We focused in on the game plan and we did a great job. It was a great team win for us.”
Fredette (eight), Quincy Pondexter (nine) and Ryan Anderson (17) combined for 34 points off the bench, which gave New Orleans a balanced attack. Anthony Davis was his usual dominant self, finishing with 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal and four blocks.
“He brings it every single night,” Fredette said. “He plays as hard as he can. He’s an unselfish superstar. He’s a guy who wants to win the game no matter what happens. He wants to go out there and help this team, whether it’s rebounding, blocking shots, running the floor, scoring baskets, setting screens – whatever it is. He just wants to help us win. He’s been unbelievable this year.”
Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon, meanwhile, combined for 30 points, 14 assists, 12 rebounds, and two steals, as New Orleans shot 48.8 percent from the floor.
“It was a great team effort for us,” Fredette said. “In the first half especially, I thought our defense was really good. We played great team defense, we got out in transition and moved the ball really well and (we) had a lot of assists. And that’s a recipe for success for our team. If we defend, get out in transition and share the basketball, I think that we’re a tough team to stop.”
The Pelicans held a 47-30 rebounding advantage and used a dominant second quarter to pull away, outscoring the Pistons 36-18. Detroit actually outscored New Orleans 58-47 in the second half, but the game was never in doubt.
“We played really well in the second quarter,” Fredette said. “Good defense, got out in transition, made some threes, got to the basket – I mean, we were just playing really good basketball at that point, got on a roll. Next time we need to make a conscious effort to not relax. We need to keep pushing, but we were really happy with our win.”
New Orleans (19-19) ranks in the top half of the league in scoring offense (101.4 points per game), rebounding (43.6) and assists (21.4). The Pelicans next play Friday at Philadelphia (7-31) at 7 p.m. ET, and will look to improve on their 7-14 road record.