In a game in which the ending resembled a back-and-forth chess match, the New Orleans Pelicans fought hard and finished strong down the stretch, earning a 106-105 victory against the Boston Celtics last night.
With the win, New Orleans (2-9) earned its first home win and second win of the season. Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, who battled with multiple injuries throughout the game, led the Pelicans in scoring with 25 points and 16 rebounds.
Langston Galloway was the biggest factor in the Pelicans first home victory, finishing with 21 points off the bench, with nine of those from behind the arc. New Orleans outscored Boston in bench points, 57-20, a big reason for the Pelicans’ efficiency on offense.
Nov 14, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) goes up for a shot as he is defended by New Orleans Pelicans guard Tim Frazier (2) during the second half of the game at the Smoothie King Center. New Orleans won 106-105. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Giving up their seven-point lead in the fourth, the Pelicans went toe-to-toe with the Celtics (5-5) to the final seconds. Celtics’ guard Isaiah Thomas drew a foul and converted on one of his free throws to give Boston a 103-102 edge with :33 second remaining in the game.
New Orleans, then, responded with Davis drawing another foul, sending him to the free throw line. Davis converted on both free throws, giving the Pelicans a 104-103 lead.
On the Celtics’ inbound play, Tim Frazier stole the ball but was fouled, sending him to the free throw line. Frazier converted on one free throw before Thomas ran the court and finished on a clutch layup to tie the game at 105.
On the next play, Frazier gave Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk a hard pump fake, drawing a foul and sending Frazier to the free throw line. Frazier hit one free throw to seal the victory for New Orleans.
For the game stats, Pelicans shot 44 percent off 35-of-79 shooting from the floor and 83 percent off 30-of-36 shooting from the free throw line. The Pelicans outscored the Celtics in points in the paint, 46-44, and fast break points, 20-16.
Along with Galloway, Terrence Jones helped the Pelicans’ bench tremendously, recording 15 points and 10 rebounds in the contest.
Boston shot 40 percent off 38-of-95 shooting from the floor, 29 percent of 12-of-41 shooting from three-point range and 85 percent off 17-of-20 shooting from the charity stripe.
Thomas led the Celtics in scoring with 37 points and seven assists, followed by Avery Bradley with 19 points and Marcus Smart with 15 points.
The Pelicans led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter but the Celtics rallied and cut the deficit to 70-68 with 5:37 remaining. New Orleans, however, responded strong offensively and managed to keep a steady 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
After a strong finish in the first quarter, the Pelicans kept their good shooting touch from the floor, taking a six-point lead, 46-40. Three-point shooting and mid-range shooting, however, kept the Celtics in the game.
Nov 14, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) goes up for a shot as he is defended by Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) during the second quarter of the game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
With less than six minutes remaining in the quarter, the Celtics narrowed the Pelicans lead to 46-44. Galloway’s three-point shooting along with baskets from Davis and Solomon Hill allowed the Pelicans to take a 56-51 at the half.
The Celtics jumped out to an early 12-6 lead to start the game but the New Orleans responded in strong way, tying the game at 15 with nearly five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Following a timeout, the Celtics took another four-point lead but Davis, Galloway and Terrence Jones helped New Orleans take a 27-26 lead going in to the second quarter.
Tip-Ins: Rebounding helped the Pelicans pull out a close victory, winning the battle on the boards, 46-44. Jones and Davis crashed the boards, combining for 26 rebounds.
The Negative: Pelicans’ turnovers kept the Celtics in the game. New Orleans committed 17 turnovers to the Celtics 12.
New Orleans returns to action at 6 P.M. Wednesday as the Pelicans go on the road to take on the Orlando Magic.