Mar 21, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) celebrates after scoring and drawing foul during the fourth quarter of a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Grizzlies 95-82. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
The New Orleans Pelicans took down the Memphis Grizzlies at home, behind a massive 41-point performance from big man DeMarcus Cousins.
Every win has to feel like a ray of hope for New Orleans Pelicans fans.
If so, tonight’s ray of hope must have been quite a big one.
After trailing by seven at halftime and by 10 early into the third quarter, New Orleans went on a 21-0 run in the third quarter. They would not lose control of the game the rest of the way. The Pelicans took down a tough, physical Grizzlies team 95-82.
Things looked grim for the Pelicans in the first half. New Orleans shot just 28.6 percent from the field and scored just 34 points in the first 24 minutes. DeMarcus Cousins accounted for 16 of those points.
However, the second half became a different story. After two minutes, the Grizzlies increased their lead by three points. The Pels scored just two points in the first two minutes of the third quarter. The final 10 minutes of the third saw New Orleans score 30 points alone. Their 32-13 edge in that frame gave them a 12-point lead heading into the fourth.
While Memphis’ three-point shooting got them close, the Pelicans would not relinquish the lead. Mostly, due to DeMarcus Cousins’ dominance. Boogie finished with a massive 41 points on 14-27 shooting and 8-9 on free throws. He would also put up 17 rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Mike Conley led the scoring for Memphis, with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists.
One of the areas New Orleans took over in this game was the offensive glass. The Pelicans finished the game with 12 offensive rebounds, seven more than their counterparts. In general, this was a game the Pelicans found a hot streak on, played defense well enough to force tough looks and held their ground against a valiant comeback.
To put is simply, this is a massive win for the slim playoff hopes. New Orleans is hitting the toughest part of their schedule. Getting in a groove is a must. If they were going to make a statement to the league and to Boogie, this was the game. Credit this coaching staff and their players for not giving up.
One of the biggest thumbs up has to go to the crowd at the Smoothie King Center. After Boogie picked up his fourth foul, he was subbed out. This was after putting on an offensive explosion, to help New Orleans get control. The crowd gave him a great cheer and many stood up as he headed to the bench. This city NEEDS to keep showing DeMarcus that he is appreciated for his effort and performances. Boogie’s a star player, but he’s also human. For how he played tonight, he deserves plenty of standing ovations going forward at home.