Apr 7, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Nikola Jokic (15) and center Mason Plumlee (24) defend against New Orleans Pelicans guard Quinn Cook (22) in the third quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 122-106. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
The New Orleans Pelicans kept pace with the Nuggets in the first half, yet lost track of their opponents later on in a lopsided loss Friday night.
With only three games remaining on the schedule, the New Orleans Pelicans are not playing inspired basketball.
After staying firm with the Denver Nuggets in the first half, the Pelicans’ defense fell apart. New Orleans lost track of the Nuggets all over the floor and gave up 71 second half points. It would be the main cause of their 122-106 loss Friday night.
The Pelicans did not play their core as much as they usually do in this game. Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday only played 24 minutes each in this contest. Those minutes went more into looking at the young talent on the roster and evaluating.
Denver, who is still hunting for the final playoff spot in the West, went in another direction. They let their starters finish the job against the younger and inexperienced Pels lineups. It showed, as the defensive differences on the floor decided the game.
Even with just 24 minutes of play, Davis led the Pelicans in scoring. Anthony had 25 points on 27 shots, not his most effective night from the field. Right behind him was Jordan Crawford, who put up 20 points on 10-16 shooting. However, Crawford missed all three of his long-range attempts.
Rookie guard Jamaal Murray put up 30 points on 10-14 shooting and two steals to lead the Nuggets.