The Pelicans had another tough night on the defensive end at the Smoothie King Center as they fell to the Denver Nuggets 115-98 on Tuesday night.
New Orleans allowed the Nuggets to dominate from inside and out as they dropped to 1-10 on the season. The Nuggets connected on 45 of 85 shots from the floor (52.9 percent), including a blister 15 for 30 from beyond the arc (50 percent) on their way to the big victory. Denver also managed 46 points in the paint as they took advantage of a depleted Pelicans front line that was missing Omer Asik and then lost Anthony Davis to an injury in the early going.
Danilo Gallinari led the way for the Nuggets with 32 points on 12 for 19 shooting from the floor, including 5 for 8 from beyond the arc to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists.
Will Barton and Jameer Nelson also had big games off the bench for the Nuggets as they improved to 6-5 on the season. Barton totaled 17 points on 7 for 12 shooting from the floor and was deadly from the outside, making 3 of 4 shots from 3-point range. He added seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Nelson also showed his deep range with 16 points on 4 for 6 shooting from beyond the arc will adding four rebounds and four assists.
The young starting back court didnt disappoint in the win. Gary Harris finished with 16 points on 5 for 8 shooting from the floor, including 3 for 4 from distance with four rebounds, three assists and two steals while Emmanuel Mudiay added 12 points, eight assists and two blocks. Kenneth Faried provided some solid contribution as well with 11 points on 5 for 6 shooting with seven rebounds.
Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon carried the scoring load fr the Pelicans. Anderson registered 24 points on 10 for 17 shooting from the floor with six rebounds and two assists while Gordon managed 19 points and six assists.
Ish Smith and Dante Cunningham also had solid showings. Smith had 13 points on 6 for 9 shooting from the floor with eight assists and three rebounds while Cunningham totaled 11 points on 5 for 8 shoting from the field with five rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Luke Babbitt added 11 points on the strength of a 3 for 4 shooting night from beyond the arc with seven rebounds while Jrue Holiday chipped in with 10 points and seven assists in 23 minutes.
Jimmer Fredette got in the game in the loss, but recorded no stats while playing exactly 40 seconds. On the season, he has played 8:35 over three games and has two points on 1 for 4 shooting from the field (0 for 1 from 3-point range) with an assist and a steal.
Up next for Fredette and the Pelicans is a trip to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. The Thunder are 6-5 on the year, but will be without Kevin Durant. That will leave much of the offensive responsiblity to Russell Westbrook who is having another good season. He is averaging 26.7 points on 45.8 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 10.6 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 34.9 minutes a night. He is coming off one of his best performances of the season in a 122-114 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies where he put up 40 points on 13 for 19 shooting from the field, including 5 for 8 from 3-point range. He added 14 assists, four rebounds and three steals in 39 minutes.