After getting a loud ovation during player introductions Wednesday night, the New Orleans Pelicans appeared set on keeping the crowd in a festive mood. After all, it was the start of a new era, playing their first regular-season game with a new nickname, new uniforms and new mascot at the newly renovated New Orleans Arena. The Pelicans showed encouraging signs, but they didn’t have enough at the end to avoid losing 95-90 to the Indiana Pacers in front of a sellout crowd of 17,803. Despite a brilliant display of execution in the first half that led to a 16-point lead at halftime, the Pelicans bogged down in the second half, especially in the third quarter when they were held to 16 points and made only 7-of-18 shots. The Pacers blitzed the Pelicans with a 36-point fourth quarter to improve to 2-0. Down the stretch, the Pacers turned up the defensive pressure and the Pelicans were unable to make several shots near the basket. ``They (Pacers) took the game,'' Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.``I just didn't think that we had an understanding of the moment in the fourth quarter. Some of our vanilla possessions where we just jacked up a couple of shots that the guys who took the shots probably thought to themselves that 'I could've got something better.' I thought that this was like a playoff game tonight.'' After point guard Jrue Holiday made a 19-foot jumper to extend the Pelicans’ lead to 85-81 with 1:58 remaining, the Pacers made their decisive charge. Center Roy Hibbert made a layup and free throw, and former Hornets forward David West made two more from the line that put the Pacers ahead 86-85. Then guard George Hill made a 3-pointer before Pelicans guard Eric Gordon’s layup cut the Pacers’ lead to 89-87. In the ensuing possessions before Gordon's layup, forward Anthony Davis and Holiday both had their shots blocked with 52.9 seconds remaining. The Pacers eventually extended their lead to 91-87 with 14 seconds remaining.
New Orleans Pelicans lose opener to Indiana Pacers, 95-90
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Oct 31