Anthony Davis has double-double as Pelicans cool off Pistons
The New Orleans Pelicans brought the hot Detroit Pistons back to earth.
The Pistons came in having won of nine of 10, but were never competitive with New Orleans. Anthony Davis had 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Pelicans beat the Pistons 105-94 on Wednesday night.
"That was a bad performance, and we have to make sure it stops tonight," said Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. "We didn’t do anything. We didn’t rebound and we didn’t protect the paint, which were two big areas of emphasis. We brought absolutely no energy whatsoever to the game."
The Pelicans (19-19) were missing Jrue Holliday (ankle), but easily picked up their second win in five games. Tyreke Evans added 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Pelicans, while Ryan Anderson came off the bench to score 17.
Brandon Jennings had 19 for the Pistons (14-25), while Greg Monroe had 16 points and eight rebounds and was the only other starter to reach double figures.
The Pistons only managed three offensive rebounds in the game, usually a strength.
"That was unacceptable," said Monroe, who led the team in both rebounds and assists (five). "We just gave them an easy win. We have to be a lot better than that."
The Pelicans dominated the first half, with the exception of Detroit’s 6-0 run to end the first quarter. New Orleans led 58-36 at the intermission, helped in great part by a 36-point second period that saw them outrebound Detroit 14-2.
"We played the right way," said New Orleans coach Monty Williams. "That’s the only way I can sum it up. We shared the ball; we defended the ball; we played in transition."
The Pistons only managed 10 rebounds in the first half to 24 for New Orleans, and had just one second-chance opportunity despite missing 13 of their 15 jumpers in the opening two quarters. Andre Drummond struggled for Detroit, scoring only two points in 17 minutes and saw his team outscored by 21 points while he was on the floor.
He didn’t get better in the second half, and spent most of it on the bench.
"This is four games in a row where he hasn’t had any energy," Van Gundy said. "Tonight, he didn’t even rebound. That’s why I didn’t bring him back in the second half. He wasn’t bringing us anything tonight."
New Orleans stayed in control in the third quarter, and even when the Pelicans made mistakes, the Pistons couldn’t capitalize. After one turnover, Kyle Singler led a Detroit fast break, only to pass the ball directly to New Orleans forward Dante Cunningham. Singler didn’t hustle back on defense, leading to an open 3-pointer for the Pelicans. A furious Van Gundy yanked him from the game.
The Pistons scored the final seven points of the period to pull within 83-66, but never posed a serious threat in the fourth.
"That was fun," said Pelicans guard Eric Gordon. "Everyone was scoring and everyone was contributing."
Pelicans: Nate Wolters joined the Pelicans on a 10-day contract, but did not play as Monty Williams stayed with his rotation until the final 25 seconds. Wolters had several memorable duals down the street at Oakland University while attending North Dakota State, and ended his college career at the Palace in an NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan.
Pistons: With Detroit playing its sixth game in nine nights, and both Spencer Dinwiddie and Gigi Datome in the D-League, it didn’t take long for Van Gundy to empty his bench. Cartier Martin was the only player who hadn’t gotten into the game by the end of the third, and he finished the game, but did not score.