There is no denying who these New Orleans Pelicans are: a young, injury-prone bottom tier NBA team. That may not always be the case. In a season that'll ultimately end with New Orleans missing the playoffs for the third straight time, the Pelicans continue to take strides in their development. Saturday night was a major step. The Pelicans, with second-year phenom Anthony Davis leading the way, pulled off their biggest upset of the season, beating the two-time defending champion Miami Heat 105-95 before 18,185 fans at the Smoothie King Center. "To get this win against the defending champs you feel really good about what you are trying to do as a coaching staff," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "I am proud of our guys to be able to do that on a back-to-back, no Eric (Gordon) and all the other guys who are out. To have so many guys step up and make plays, it is just really cool to do that in front of your home crowd." Davis again showed signs that he indeed is ready to stake his claim as one of the NBA's elite players, scoring a game-high 30 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, getting three steals and a block. Davis now has scored at least 28 points in eight straight games, a franchise record. "He's a very good, young player that can do virtually everything on the basketball court," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "His age belies his game." Davis didn't do it alone. Five Pelicans scored in double figures as New Orleans snapped its five game losing streak to Miami by making 10 of their first 14 fourth quarter shots then holding on down the stretch. Tyreke Evans scored 16 points and had eight assists, while Al-Farouq Aminu scored 12 points and had eight rebounds for the Pelicans. Luke Babbitt, who earned his first start of the season, scored 11 points and reserve guard Anthony Morrow added 10 for the Pelicans, who shot 51.2 percent from the field. LeBron James led the Heat with 25 points, just missing a triple double, as he also had eight rebounds and nine assists. "We did it with defense," Davis said. "We just tried to contain LeBron and stop guys from getting open threes. We rebounded the ball and attacked the basket. Guys stepped up and made big plays. Luke made some big-time plays. Anthony came in and made some big plays. We just have to keep playing with this energy. I'm just playing hard. I try to do that every game. My teammates tell me that they feed off me and want me to be great every game, so that's what I try to do."
New Orleans Pelicans upset Miami Heat 105-95
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Mar 23