New Orleans-- A 21-point first half lead was trimmed to just one in the third quarter, but Jrue Holiday came-through late when they needed him. Holiday scored 13 of his team-high 27 points in the 4th quarter, helping keep the Pels out front and lifting them to the 111-104 win over the Grizzlies.
"Anthony told me to be aggressive," Holiday said. "He told me to get to 20 points this game and we would win. I just listened to the captain and did what I could to help the team."
"Jrue played great," said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "I thought he did a really good job, and then down the stretch I thought he was really, really good."
"We started running pick and roll toward the end of the game and he made great plays-- either scoring or finding the right guy," said Pelicans Forward Anthony Davis. "For him to come out, I think 5 games in a row, with 24 or 25-plus, it's amazing."
Memphis did their best to contain Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, holding them to just 13 shots each. That left room for Holiday to take over in the scoring department.
"This team does a really good job of trying to take the bigs away," Gentry said. "It's not just the individual defense. They really go all-out and sacrifice a lot."
New Orleans attacked the basket early and often, which resulted in the Pelicans shooting 19 free throws in the opening quarter. At the half, the Pels were 18-22 from the line, compared to just 4-4 on free throw attempts by the Grizzlies, as New Orleans took a 59-44 lead into the break. Memphis started the second half a on a 13-0 run to erase that cushion, getting as close at 61-60, but were never able to tie or take the lead.
"That old adage about that you play for 48 minutes is very true," Gentry said. "You've got to play until the final buzzer goes off. There's going to be swings in almost every NBA game. We're up 20, down 20, up 15, down 15 and you've just got to maintain and continue to play."
Anthony Davis recorded his 24th double-double of the season with 21 points ,12 rebounds, while DeMarcus Cousins had his 35th double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Wayne Selden led the Grizzlies (16-29) with 31 points, going 11-16 from the floor and 5-7 from beyond the arc.
Next-up for the Pelicans (24-21) is another home contest against the Chicago Bulls on Monday.