With Davis hurt, Anderson leads Pelicans over Knicks

The New Orleans Pelicans notched another notable win Sunday night, defeating the New York Knicks 103-99 on the road, but paid the price of losing star forward Anthony Davis for the immediate future.

Davis suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand in the first half. The Pelicans don’t yet have a timetable for his recovery process or return.

A non-displaced fracture means Davis’ bone is cracked, but it still moves moves and is properly aligned.

“I’m a hoping its a short term thing, so that I can get back out on the floor,” Davis said. “I didn’t think it was going to keep me out.”

Davis explained he fractured his hand trying to catch an alley oop. “I got fouled and hit my hand on the rim,” Davis said.

Several players stepped up in Davis’ absence and overcame a last minute push by the Knicks to log the 8th win of the season for New Orleans.

This marks the first time this season New Orleans has won back-to-back road games. The Pelicans defeated the 76ers in Philadelphia Friday night.

The Pelicans pushed the pace and shot effectively, winning the battle for fast break points. Reserves Ryan Anderson and Tyreke Evans came through with clutch performances.

It didn’t start well though: New Orleans posted just 16 first quarter points, tying a season low.  Davis had seven first quarter points before leaving the game with that fractured hand. The team as a whole shot 5-21 from the field in the first quarter (.238).

The Pelicans reserves went to work in the second quarter as Ryan Anderson and Tyreke Evans scored a combined 20 second quarter points on 8-13 field goal shooting.

The Knicks came in to the game averaging the 6th fewest assists per game (19.3 per game), however they shared the ball effectively in the first half.  The Knicks assisted on 72.2% of their field goals in the first half, recording 13 first half assists.

The Davis’ injury opened the door for others to test themselves and see how deep this revamped roster is, and the Pelicans answered in defining fashion. Tyreke Evans finished with 24 points on 13 shots.

Ryan Anderson finished with 31 points on 7-of-11 three point shooting. “It’s really big for us, especially on the road,” he said. “We did a great job. It says a lot about this team.”

Head coach Monty Williams couldn’t say enough about Anderson.

“When Ryan comes into a game, he doesn’t think like a bench guy,” Williams said. “He thinks like, ‘I’m playing 35 minutes, and I’ve got to do my job.’ Obviously we don’t expect him to score 31 points, but I will take it.”

This win brings New Orleans back to the .500 mark on the season at 8-8.

The Pelicans take on the Chicago Bulls Monday night at 7:00 in the United Center. Ironically, Chicago is Davis’ hometown. He missed the game in Chicago last year as well with injury, so he has yet to play an NBA game in front of his home crowd.