The New Orleans Pelicans dropped their fifth straight road as they fell to the Toronto Raptors 100-81 at the Air Canada Centre on Friday night.
The Raptors used a stingy field goal percentage defense to improve to 7-3 on the season. They held the Pelicans to 30 for 82 shooting from the floor (36.6 percent), including 7 for 23 from beyond the arc (30.4 percent). Toronto also did an excellent job on the glass, outrebounding New Orleans 48-38.
Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry carried the offensive load in the win. Valanciunas finished with 20 points on 8 for 11 shooting from the floor with 10 rebounds and two blocks while Lowry had 20 points on the strength of a 50 percent shooting performance from beyond the arc to go along with six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
DeMar DeRozan and DeMarre Carroll also made had good showings. DeRozan totaled 15 points on 5 for 12 shooting from the floor with a game-high 11 assists and six rebounds while Carroll managed 11 points and five boards.
Patrick Patterson added 10 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor while Bismack Biyombo chipped in with six points and nine rebounds off the bench.
The starting back court of Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday did most of the damage on the offensive end for the Pelicans as they fell to 1-8 on the season. Gordon had a game-high 30 points on 11 for 22 shooting from the floor, including 4 for 11 from 3-point range while Holiday registered 19 points on 8 for 14 shooting with three assists and two steals in 21 minutes.
The only other player to score in double figures was Alexis Ajinca who had 10 points on 5 for 9 shooting from the field with a team-high nine rebounds.
Jimmer Fredette only played the last 2:29 of garbage time even though the Pelicans backup guards had an awful shooting night. Ish Smith had six points on 1 for 9 shooting from the floor with four rebounds, four assists and two blocks while Toney Douglas had two points on 1 for 7 shooting from the floor with three steals and an assist in 15 minutes. Fredette went scoreless after he missed a midrange jumper in the final seconds.
On the season, Fredette has appeared in two of three games since joining the Pelicans, but has played just 7:55 and totaled two points on 1 for 4 shooting from the floor, including a miss on his only attempt from beyond the arc.
Up next for Fredette and New Orleans is a Sunday afternoon game with the New York Knicks. The Knicks are 4-6 on the season, including 1-4 at Madison Square Garden.
Carmelo Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis are the players to watch for New York. Anthony leads the team with 23 points a game on 37 percent shooting from beyond the arc with 6.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists while Porzingis is averaging 11.5 points, a team-leading 8.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.
Langston Galloway and Robin Lopez have also made some solid contributions. Galloway is averaging 10.9 points on 45.6 percent shooting from the floor with 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists off the bench while Lopez is putting up 9.2 points on 47.6 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 blocks in 27 minutes a night.
Another key piece to the Knicks’ success is Arron Afflalo who just returned from injury and is averaging 13 points on 46.2 percent shooting with 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his two games.