The return of Anthony Davis to the lineup wasn’t enough as the Pelicans fell 107-100 to the Los Angeles Clippers in Staples Center on Sunday afternoon. The loss was the third setback in a row on the tough western road trip for the Pelicans who are now three games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the race for eighth in the Western Conference.
Even though the Pelicans shot the ball extremely well, it was turnovers that did then in against the Clippers. New Orleans shot 38-for-75 from the field (50.7 percent), including 12-for-22 from long-range (54.5 percent), but committed 18 turnovers that led to 30 points for Los Angeles. The new look Pelicans’ starting lineup was responsible for most of the miscues with 13 of the 18, including six from Norris Cole who replaced the injured Tyreke Evans as the starting point guard.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers in the win. Paul had 23 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals while Griffin had 23 points, five rebounds and four assists. Los Angeles also got big contributions out of J.J. Redick and DeAndre Jordan against New Orleans. Redick had 20 points on the strength of a 50 percent shooting performance from beyond the 3-point arc while Jordan had 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor with 16 rebounds and three blocks. Matt Barnes reached double figures also well with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting to go along with three rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon carried the load for the undermanned Pelicans who were without Omer Asik as well as Evans, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson. Davis had 26 points on 11-for-13 shooting from the floor with 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in his first game back from a sprained ankle while Gordon came away with 23 points on 5-for-8 shooting from 3-point land with five assists and two boards coming off the bench. Quincy Pondexter added 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting from distance while Alexis Ajinca had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Cole chipped in with 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor with four assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes before he fouled out.
Jimmer Fredette saw double-figure minutes for the second straight game and did some nice things even though he didnt shoot the ball well. In 11:51 of action he had two points on 1-for-4 shooting, but did have three assists, a rebound and a steal. While his only basket came late in the game on a short jumper, it was during the second quarter where he did his best work. He had all three of his assists during a four-minute stretch to start the second including assists on the first two baskets to help give the Pelicans a six-point lead.
Up next for Fredette and the Pelicans is a return home to face James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.