New Orleans-- LSU's Ben Simmons made his return to Louisiana, finishing with 27 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds for the 76ers, but the story of the Pelicans' 131-124 win over Philadelphia was the Rajon Rondo- Jrue Holiday connection. Rondo finished with 18 assists-- many of those going to Holiday, who hit 5 three-pointers in the 4th quarter, on his way to 34 points on the night.
"I definitely do think I have a groove-- especially with him," Holiday said. "I do have more leeway to shoot the ball and people tell me to shoot more-- especially him."
"You know it's really, really good for him and I think our guys see that now," said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "They try to make sure that he has the ball in his hands. They were able to do that especially when he gets on a roll."
"Jrue kind of falls-back from the responsibilities of being a point guard," said Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins. "He's able to just be an aggressive-scoring guard and Rondo can kind of take over those duties for him. When Rondo's on the floor, it's just like a light switch for him and he turns into the guy we saw tonight."
The Pelicans trailed 95-87 going into the 4th quarter, when Holiday caught fire. They went on 16-4 run to take the lead for good, outscoring the 76ers in the final quarter 44-29. Not only did Holiday's numbers help spark the win, but he was one of 6 Pelicans players who finished in double-figures scoring, making for a more balanced stat sheet and taking the burden off Cousins and Anthony Davis to get all the points.
"I think that's what our team's all about," Holiday said. "Being able to step-up for our teammates even if they have off nights or even if they do so much and they might be tired one game-- just to be able to pick each other up."
The Pelicans (14-13) close-out their home-stand going (2-2) and now have 5 of their next 6 games on the road-- including a quick turnaround to play at Houston Monday night.