Pelicans blow out Rockets behind steals and role players: 3 takeaways

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Devonte' Graham
New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte’ Graham Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans needed this one against the Houston Rockets after losing four in a row and they got a big night from just about everyone.

The Pels were still shorthanded without CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, and the role players finally stepped up behind Jonas Valanciunas, who had 32 points and 10 rebounds to pace New Orleans.

The Pelicans are trying to hold onto the 10th seed with Ingram and McCollum likely out until at least the March 18 game against San Antonio. They are currently just one game ahead of Portland and 1.5 games behind the Lakers in the standings, so getting this one was crucial against the NBA’s worst team.

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It was a big night for JV and the role players, who collectively stepped up in the blow out of the Rockets.

The New Orleans Pelicans stealing the show

The Pels recorded a season-high 17 steals against the Rockets, including six from Jose Alvarado, who had his best all-around game of the season.

The Rockets had 25 turnovers overall, which led to 30 points for New Orleans, which was difference in the game, as the Pels had just 11 turnovers that led to nine points for Houston.

Nine Pelicans recorded at least one steal and four of them had more than one.

New Orleans brought the energy on the defensive end, especially after the first quarter, which was good to see in a game they really needed to win.

The Pels have been one of the best defensive teams since the All-Star break and have really started to build their identity on that end.

It was nice to get a short handed win and for some of the role players to finally step up.