Pels win wild thriller, defeat Heat 124-123

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 23: Jrue Holiday /

The Pelicans seemed mentally prepared for a second half playoff run coming into Friday. And while they gave many indications to think otherwise, they pulled off an impressive gutsy win again the Miami Heat in overtime.

What we liked: Ian Clark

We’ll get to AD and Jrue Holiday in a minute, you know the story on them. But the Pels don’t have a chance to win late without Ian Clark. Clark finished Friday with another good game as he poured in 21 points. 19 of those came in the first half as the Pelicans desperately needed it. Must be something about Miami

What we didn’t like: The Turnovers

The Pelicans sometimes just don’t value extra possessions. 15 turnovers will speak to that. It’s not just the number that is disappointing as they’ve topped 15 numerous times this season. It’s the risky and often lazy passes which have killed them all season. Miami kept NOLA around long enough that the Pelicans eventually took the lead. But a few less turnovers, and maybe the Pelicans are able to sail comfortably late and not have the game come down to the final seconds in overtime.

When it was over: When the Heat missed a late follow after a failed Dwayne Wade jumper to win.

Dwayne Wade started off slow, and had a poor game overall offensively. But in typical Wade fashion he showed up late in the clutch. After Wade had knocked in free throws & made a signature jumper in previous situations, the Heat went to Wade one more time. This time he wasn’t successful and after a failed put-back the Heat were soon out of opportunities.


1. AD delivers on his promise

Anthony Davis recently said after a game against the Lakers that DeMarcus Cousins told him he needed to play differently and more aggressive. A few 40 point games later and it’s clear Davis got the message. His 45 point game Friday was his third 40 point game in his last four. Davis also finished with 17 rebounds to go with five steals and five blocks. Davis compared his current situation to what Russell Westbrook had to endure three years ago when star Kevin Durant was injured and out for the season. Ironically, the Thunder missed the playoffs that year, the Pelicans didn’t. With similar performances down the stretch it’s likely the latter of the two will happen again.

2. Jrue Holiday’s career year continues.

Not many people give Jrue Holiday the credit he deserves on the season he’s having. Maybe Friday’s game will serve notice. Anthony Davis can be super human. But we knew that already. We didn’t know Jrue Holiday would have his best season up to date. After playing second fiddle all game to AD’s performance, Hollday ended with the most important play. The Pelicans realized how potent their pick & roll attack was & simply didn’t go away from it. Instead of a Holiday layup or a Davis finish, this sequence ended with a tough Holiday floater. The bank isn’t open on Holiday’s, Jrue didn’t need one. For the game he finished with 29 points 7 rebounds and 9 assists, it’s clear Holiday doesn’t plan on letting up any time soon.

3. Okafor is a keeper 

You probably knew this already, but there is simply no longer any denying it. In 18 minutes Okafor continued his welcomed play and energy finishing with two points seven rebounds and FIVE blocks. Most thought he would be brought in for veteran leadership purposes and to be a roster filler. It’s clear he now has a role, and is making the best of it.

Next: New Orleans Pelicans Gift Guide: 10 must-have Anthony Davis items

Up Next: 2/25 @Milwaukee

The Pelicans were able to defeat the Bucks in a tough matchup earlier in the season in NOLA. Both teams are different this time around however, expect a fun high flying contest. The Pelicans will have a chance to win their fifth straight, the last time they did so this season, they were feeling as good as the franchise has felt in three years.

Stay Tuned!