The Maroon

Pelicans squeak by Celtics to claim second victory of season

Ryan Micklin

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15.6 seconds separated the New Orleans Pelicans from starting the season with a 1-10 record, to their first home win of the season after a 106-105 victory over the Boston Celtics on Nov. 14.

Anthony Davis led the Pelicans in scoring with 25 points and 16 rebounds in 38 minutes of play despite battling through apparent back and knee injuries. Davis said that while he was on the bench, he would lay on his back to keep it from tightening up.

“Every time I sit down it tightens up. That was the best way to try to keep it loose. It felt great and I’ll probably keep doing that until it gets healthy,” Davis said. “It’s basketball, you got to play through it and fight through it to try to help your team win.”

The biggest difference in the game for the Pelicans was the production from off the bench. Terrence Jones recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Langston Galloway was the second leading scorer for the Pelicans with 21 points on 57% shooting.

“We just wanted to bring the energy and come out and play hard. I think from the get go, our group wanted to go out there and continue to show that we can be one of those groups that come off the bench and make a difference,” Galloway said.

By halftime, the Pelicans held on to a 56-51 lead while shooting 53.8% from the field and holding the Celtics to 42.9%. Avery Bradley was the leading scorer for the Celtics by halftime with 10 points but the other star for the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas, was held to just 5 points. Galloway did a majority of his scoring during the second quarter as he scored 14 points by halftime.

Despite an electric third quarter by Isaiah Thomas who responded by scoring 14 points in the quarter, the Pelicans pushed their biggest lead of the game to 14 points midway into the third quarter.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Pelicans looked like they were poised to claim their first home victory of the season with a 10-point lead with 12 minutes to go. Momentum took a major turn when the Celtics climbed back into the game to retake the lead with 2:58 left in the game and the Celtics having a 99-98 advantage.

Possessions went back and forth during the final two minutes, but the biggest play of the game was with the Pelicans clinging to a 105-103 lead and the Celtics having a chance to tie or retake the lead after a timeout. Marcus Smart, Celtics forward, attempted to inbound the ball to a streaking Bradley but was instead stolen by Tim Frazier, Pelicans guard, who made the game-saving play.

“I just read Marcus’ eyes,” Frazier said. “He threw it and I tried to jump in front of it and I was able to get it.”

Alvin Genry, Pelicans head coach, said the team will take the win but there are still mental mistakes that need to be eliminated along with poor shot selection.

“We have to win games at home and to be able to go through what we did and then kind of hang on the win, I think is really big. It’s a big deal,” Gentry said.

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Pelicans squeak by Celtics to claim second victory of season