The New Orleans Pelicans used a balanced offensive attack to knock of the Brooklyn Nets 102-96 at the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday night. The Pelicans shot 51.4 percent from the floor and all eight players who made an appearance scored at least eight points including, six players who scored in double figures.
Quincy Pondexter led the way as New Orleans improved to 30-27 on the season. He finished with a career-high 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range. Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik contributed solid performances in the victory as each finished with a double-double. Evans totaled 15 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and two blocks while Asik managed 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field to go along with 13 rebounds. Dante Cunningham added 13 points and seven rebounds while Alexis Ajinca had 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 21 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the floor with 10 rebounds while Thaddeus Young put up 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting while grabbing five rebounds. Jarrett Jack and Brook Lopez also made nice contributions off the bench in the loss. Jack had 15 points, three rebounds and three assists while Lopez had 15 points on 50 percent shooting and seven boards. Deron Williams chipped in with 10 points and six assists as the Nets fell to 23-32 on the season.
Jimmer Fredette got a present on his birthday – the night off. He did not play for the second time in three games as coach Monty Williams shortened his bench rotation significantly. The addition of Norris Cole at the trade deadline has been a nice pickup for New Orleans, but has drastically changed the opportunities that Fredette gets on the floor. In fact, he has played exactly 6.2 seconds since Cole began suiting up for the Pelicans.
The most interesting part of the new changes to the lineup is that Fredette can’t get on the floor even though the starting back court of Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans has shot the ball horribly in the last few games. Wednesday night was no exception as Gordon hit on 2-for-11 shots from the floor, including 2-for-6 from distance while Evans was 5-for-13 from the field. If Fredette can’t get in the rotation when the guards can’t make shots, then chances for time will get very slim when New Orleans returns to full strength down the stretch run.
Up next for Fredette and the Pelicans is a matchup with the Miami Heat on Friday night.