The New Orleans Pelicans used a terrific bench performance to overcome an 18-point deficit and outlast the Toronto Raptors 100-97 in the Smoothie King Center on Monday night.
Luke Babbitt, Alexis Ajinca and Norris Cole carried the load for the short-handed Pelicans as they improved to 29-27 on the season. Babbitt finished with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-5 from 3-point land as well as eight rebounds and two assists. Ajinca added 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field with nine rebounds while Cole had 15 points and six assists. Omer Asik and Tyreke Evans also had solid showings in the win. Asik had 14 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks while Evans managed 13 points, 12 assists and four boards. Eric Gordon chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Pelicans who were playing without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday.
Kyle Lowry paced the Raptors with 22 points and five assists while Jonas Valanciunas totaled 17 points and 14 rebounds. James Johnson also played well with 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go along with five rebounds while DeMar DeRozan had 14 points on a cold shooting night.
Jimmer Fredette played exactly 6.2 seconds for the Pelicans and did what he needed to do to help New Orleans sweep the season series from the Raptors. After sitting the entire game, he entered the game in the final seconds with the Pelicans holding a 1-point advantage. He got the inbound pass and was fouled by Terrence Ross with 4.7 seconds left. He stepped to the line and knocked down both free-throws to give New Orleans a 3-point advantage and force Toronto to attempt a 3-point shot to try to force overtime. The Raptors got a look, but couldn’t cash in as Lowry missed a deep attempt with Fredette in his face.
Up next for Fredette and the Pelicans is a matchup with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.