Pelicans hold off Pistons, 111-106 in OT

It’s a good thing for the New Orleans Pelicans that Ryan

Anderson doesn’t let an off night stop him from unleashing

long-range shots with the game on the line.

Anderson shook off some unusually poor shooting and hit two

clutch 3-pointers in overtime that carried the New Orleans Pelicans

to a 111-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday

night.

”It’s important that I stay aggressive on this team. I think

coach has a lot of confidence in me, a lot of faith in me and if

I’m passive or if I don’t take a shot when I’m open, it could hurt

the team,” Anderson said. ”So when I get an open chance I want to

shoot it confidently. … You can never give up your confidence on

the court, no matter how awful the shooting night you have.”

Jason Smith showed he is getting increasingly comfortable at

center after spending much of his early pro career at power

forward. The 7-footer never backed down against the size and

strength Detroit had underneath with Greg Monroe and Andre

Drummond.

Smith scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for

the Pelicans, who snapped a two-game skid while handing Detroit its

third straight loss.

”He was a monster tonight,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams

said. ”Here’s a guy doing it on both ends of the floor, has a

career night and just didn’t give in.”

Anderson finished with 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting, including

4 of 12 from 3-point range. Jrue Holiday added 19 points and

Al-Farouq Aminu, whose teammates call him ”Chief,” had 11 points

and 14 rebounds.

Asked what it meant for the Pelicans to outrebound Detroit 51-43

– turning 16 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points –

Anderson said, ”It means Jason and Chief battled their tails off

tonight. … It just means that we wanted it more.”

New Orleans also got 14 points from Tyreke Evans, whom the

Pelicans expected to miss a week or two after an ankle sprain

Friday. Instead, he returned without missing a game, but

acknowledged he played in pain.

”I just felt like I could help,” said Evans, adding that he

understood his team was already short-handed because of Anthony

Davis’ broken hand. ”Once I felt like I could run and cut

side-to-side, I said, `I’m going to play.”’

Monroe, a New Orleans native, had 28 points and 10 rebounds for

Detroit, which led by three points early in overtime before

Anderson’s first 3 of the extra session tied it. Brandon Jennings

added 25 points and Rodney Stuckey 20 for the Pistons.

Drummond had 10 points and 11 rebounds, but was disappointed New

Orleans established itself as better team near the basket.

”It’s on Greg and I to figure it out. We can’t continue to let

guys come in our paint and do those kinds of things to us,”

Drummond said. ”It’s a building process and we’re going to figure

it out. It’s not going to happen for too long.”

Detroit had one last lead when Jennings stole the ball from

Holiday and heaved the ball down-court to Monroe for a fast-break

dunk to make it 103-102. That’s when Anderson responded with his

second 3 of the extra period to give New Orleans the lead for

good.

”We lost track of him in overtime,” Monroe said of Anderson.

”With a guy like that, you can’t give him one second to get that

shot off. … We did a good job most of the game, but he hurt us in

overtime.”

Detroit trailed 108-106 after Jennings’ floater off the glass

with 13 seconds left. Detroit then fouled Evans, who missed his

second free throw, but Josh Smith was called for a lane violation,

and Evans hit on his extra chance to seal it.

The Pelicans led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter

when Holiday’s 15-foot pull-up made it 83-71, but that lead

evaporated when Stuckey’s turnaround jumper late in the period

began a 12-0 Detroit run that included Monroe’s layup and

putback.

Detroit finally tied the game at 96 on Josh Smith’s running hook

with 1:19 left. Both teams then went cold, each failing to score on

a pair of possessions, and the game went to overtime after Jennings

missed two jumpers in the final seconds.

NOTES: Eric Gordon scored 14 for New Orleans. … Smith scored

11 for Detroit. … The Pistons rested Chauncey Billups in what was

the Pistons’ second game in as many nights, while Stuckey returned

from a two-game absence cause by left knee soreness.