Be professional. That’s all Jrue Holiday said the Pelicans needed to do and that’s all they did in an impressive 131-122 victory over a rolling Oklahoma City Thunder as the NBA closed out its pre-All-Star Weekend slate on Thursday.
Holiday was part of a team-wide containment effort that checked Kia MVP candidate Paul George, who struggled through a 28-point performance, shooting just 11-of-29 (3-17 3FGs) and committing three turnovers. Russell Westbrook did his best to pick up the slack, extending his NBA record with an 11th straight triple-double (44 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists) and entering the OKC record books:
— NBA (@NBA) February 15, 2019
We should acknowledge here that, yes, Anthony Davis played, putting up 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 15 minutes. And yes, he suffered a shoulder injury that left him out of action for the second half. And yes, he reportedly left the arena before the game was over.
But Alvin Gentry was out here to discuss the players who played and closed out the win:
Alvin Gentry mentioned Anthony Davis left the building after injuring his shoulder. Asked if that bothered him, he said: “I’m going to talk about the guys who played the game. They did a great job. We found a way to win the game. That’s what’s important.” pic.twitter.com/pvvQCOq6QW
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 15, 2019
For what it’s worth, late-night media reports indicated a muscle contusion, but “nothing too bad” for Davis. Pelicans fans can take solace in the W and this awesome second-quarter dunk from Frank Jackson:
The streak is over!
The Knicks finally got one, beating the Hawks end-to-end for a 106-91 victory that snapped a franchise-worst 18-game slide. Dennis Smith Jr., who’s averaging 17.0 points (42.7 FG%) and 6.0 assists in seven games with the Knicks, led the team with 19 points; DeAndre Jordan chipped in 10 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Recent 10-day signee John Jenkins was second on the team with 14 points (6-13 FGs) in 25 minutes, though most of them came in an early flurry:
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 15, 2019
Sign that man up for a two-week run as rando fan favorite Knicks fans will be mad they didn’t overpay this offseason.
A little taste
The AT&T Slam Dunk is looming as part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, and 2013 dunk champ Terrence Ross took a chance to get the action started early. In the fourth quarter of Orlando’s resounding 127-89 victory over Charlotte, Ross saw a baseline opportunity and would not be denied, finishing with an up-and-under reverse to evade a pair of Hornets.
Wouldn’t be out of place on Saturday. Ross finished with a game-high 21 points (8-15 FGs, 3-8 3Ps), one of six Magic players to hit double-digits.
Hopefully Kemba Walker, who finished Thursday’s game 4-for-20 (10 points) — part of Charlotte’s season-low 4-for-31 (12.9%) shooting from 3-point range — can regroup in time for not only the upcoming MTN DEW 3-Point Contest, but also Sunday’s All-Star Game in front of his home fans.
Could understand him and the Hornets having their heads in the upcoming festivities, though let’s not discount the Magic for this five-game run (winning seven of their last eight!). They’ve outpaced the league in defensive efficiency since it began, allowing only 98.8 points per 100 possessions. For comparison, Milwaukee leads on the season at 103.5.