Pelicans (6-5), Pacers (5-6)
INDIANAPOLIS – When missed free throws decide the outcome of games, it’s usually a bad thing. On Tuesday, New Orleans managed to turn misfired foul shots into the biggest positive plays of the night.
With the Pelicans holding a two-point lead, Anthony Davis soared into traffic and pulled down an offensive board after a Jrue Holiday missed free throw, then called timeout with 18 seconds left. Holiday sank a subsequent free throw for a three-point edge but missed the second; DeMarcus Cousins tipped in the rebound to make it 117-112 with only 15 seconds remaining.
The New Orleans All-Star bigs capped huge nights with their game-deciding board work; Davis piled up 37 points and 14 rebounds, while Cousins mustered 32 points and 13 rebounds.
Indiana dominated the first half and led 75-61 at intermission, but New Orleans managed to rally from that 14-point deficit and secure a third consecutive road victory. It is the Pelicans’ longest road winning streak since December 2013.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Scrambling Indiana was unable to convert on a score in the final few seconds trailing by five, allowing New Orleans to dribble out the clock and celebrate a 3-0 start to this four-game road trip.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
There were numerous statistics that demonstrated the excellence of Davis and Cousins on Tuesday, but one of the most unique was this: the last Indiana opponent to post a stat line of at least 32 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks had been Karl Malone in 2002. Fifteen years later, Davis and Cousins managed to both do it against the Pacers on the same night. Both perennial All-Stars spearheaded the second-half New Orleans rally by scoring 20 points apiece, doing offensive damage in a variety of ways. Davis equaled his career high by sinking four three-pointers; Cousins also knocked down four treys, including three during a momentum-changing third quarter.