New Orleans — The Pelicans came out on the losing end against the 76ers again, falling 111-110 Monday night. They finished their season series against Philadelphia (0-2), losing both match-ups by just one point.
New Orleans trailed by as many as 17 in the second half, battled-back to get within one with 10 seconds to play, but couldn’t win it on an E’Twuan Moore three in the final seconds that Jimmy Butler got a piece of.
"I thought the one thing we did was we just kept trying," said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "We didn't have our best game tonight. We had turnovers in crucial situations and things like that but I thought we stayed with it and we competed. We gave ourselves a chance and that's all you can do. That's a really good team even without [Joel] Embiid out there."
"I think we just stayed consistent and played hard," said Jrue Holiday, who led the Pelicans with 22 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds in the loss. "Momentum was on our side. Once we started coming back the crowd got into it and from there I think our energy just took that forward. It started off with our second unit though-- them playing hard knowing that just to give ourselves a chance we have to play hard. Cheick [Diallo] running the lane. Frank [Jackson] running the lane. They did a great job."
But what would the Pelicans game be as of late without a bizarre twist involving Anthony Davis?
Before the game, Gentry said Davis would be starting but only playing around 20 minutes. The minutes restriction is the team's solution to still playing their superstar to appease the league, but also erring on the side of caution in hopes that he doesn't get hurt and lose trade value. With those parameters, Davis was on the bench the entire 4th quarter, while the team was in position to win a close game in the final minutes. He would normally be at the forefront of the comeback and the go-to guy down the stretch, but that is not going to be the case from here on out. It's a new scenario for everyone to wrap their heads around, and one Davis thinks is strange too.
"Yeah, especially in the 4th," Davis said about playing limited minutes. "I've never been a guy who sat in the 4th quarter so it's a little tough. But I sit on the bench and cheer for these guys and they did a good job tonight."
Davis played 20:51, including less than 7 minutes in the third quarter. He finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds.
The Pelicans (27-35) now hit the road for a 4-game road trip, starting with another meeting with the Lakers on Wednesday.