The New Orleans Pelicans picked up their first win of the season Saturday night with a 105-84 drubbing of the Charlotte Bobcats.
In a sharp turnaround from the previous two games this season — which featured Hornets-esque defensive efforts in those losing efforts, especially in the second half — the Pelicans maintained solid defensive rotations and hung on to the big lead they built early.
The did it on the back of a career game by future superstar Anthony Davis, who was one assist shy of a rare 5x5 game. Davis ended the night with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals, 6 blocks and 4 assists. He put up 14 points in the first quarter alone.
"It wasn't about Charlotte tonight, it was about us," said Davis.
New Orleans ended the night with 10 total steals, 18 blocked shots and 35 defensive rebounds. Jason Smith tied his career high of 5 blocked shots, and off-season acquisition Greg Stiemsma swatted away 5 blocks of his own.
“I love our defensive numbers tonight,” said Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams after the game. “I just think Jrue [Holiday] sets the tone for us. I think it gives us the right energy; it starts on the defensive end.”
Williams said Saturday night’s turnaround from their embarrassing 20-point loss to the Orlando Magic the night before shows the resiliency his young team has.
“We’re going to get in on Monday, and get back to practicing the way I believe we need to, and try to nurse all these bumps and bruises that we have,” Williams said. “[We’ll] take tomorrow off, but we’ll try to sustain the attitude of work. I believe it's the only way to play the game.”
The Pelicans offense was nothing to sneer at, either. Ten total New Orleans players put up points on the board, and all five starters put up at least seven points each. The Pelicans notched 30 assists on 37 made baskets (shooting 49.3% from the field), and shot 85.7% from the charity stripe.
The Pelicans face the Phoenix Suns next. The game will be at home at the New Orleans Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.