Forward Anthony Davis led the way with 27 points on 13-of-22
shooting as the Pelicans blew open a close game in the second
quarter and never looked back.
Guard Jrue Holiday came off the bench to add 27 points for the
Pelicans. And forward Ryan Anderson scored 15 of his 26 points in
the fourth quarter for New Orleans (19-32).
"It's good for us," said Davis of the contributions of Holiday and
Anderson off the bench.
"When you've got two players like that who can score the ball that
well and are good on the defensive end putting ball pressure when
they guard, it's good.
"Even when you have bad starts, you've got guys who can come in and
make plays. We're very grateful for them too."
Minnesota, which had won two in a row, got 19 points from forward
Karl-Anthony Towns, but struggled defensively, falling to 16-37.
Forward Andrew Wiggins added 15 for the Timberwolves, who also got
14 points from reserve forward Shabazz Muhammad.
Trailing 28-22 after one quarter, the Wolves scored the first five
points of the second quarter to pull within a point at 28-27. Then
the roof fell in for the home team.
While Minnesota went nearly eight minutes without a field goal, the
Pelicans got hot, going on a 22-3 run and opening up a 50-30 lead.
New Orleans led by as many as 23 in the quarter, and held a 63-46
lead at halftime.
"You pick your poison. Tonight we had a play where you kind of have
to choose what you're going to do," Anderson said. "If you're going
to focus on Anthony on the roll, then Jrue's going to be open or I'm
going to be open.
"If you want to eliminate me and Anthony, then Jrue's going to be
wide open. That's why we take advantage of that group when we're on
the court and we take advantage of plays where we can spread the
floor and find each other."
Holiday paced New Orleans with 20 points, including a pair of
three-pointers, in the first half, while Davis added 17. Minnesota
got 14 first-half points from Towns on 5-of-7 shooting, and Wiggins
chipped in with 10.
The Pelicans have been limiting Holiday's minutes in an effort to
keep him healthy, but New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry admitted it's
tough take him out of the game at times.
[to top of second column]
"I do have an assistant that takes him out regardless if I want to
take him out or not," Gentry said. "I had to assign a guy to do that
because it would be hard for me to do it.
"It really is, especially when he's playing at the level that he is
and the game is still teetering either way. So I did assign a guy to
say he's got to come out and send a sub in even without my
Minnesota got its offense going in the third quarter, cutting the
Pelicans' lead to a dozen points three times. But a lack of defense
doomed the Wolves, as Davis scored 10 more in the quarter and New
Orleans boosted its lead to 95-70 heading into the final quarter.
Frustration clearly mounted for Minnesota, and Timberwolves center
Gorgui Deng was whistled for a technical after his unsuccessful
drive to the basket was called an offensive foul.
"I'm just going to say it's one of those clunkers," Wolves interim
coach Sam Mitchell said. "You get two, three, four a season. I can't
recall, we haven't had one in a long time.
"Just one of those nobody really played well. Nobody played bad, but
nobody played well. We just kind of played and those are the kind of
results you're going to get."
One bright spot for Minnesota was Towns, the top overall pick in the
2015 draft. He recorded his 29th double-double with 12 rebounds,
matching the rookie mark set by forward Kevin Love in 2009. Towns
has 29 regular-season games left to break the team record.
"We've been playing so well recently," Towns said. "We didn't expect
to hit a wall like this."
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
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