With time ticking down in a tie game, Derrick Rose spun in the middle of the lane, cleared enough room to fire a mid-range jumper and drained the shot, handing New Orleans a heartbreaking defeat Monday. The Pelicans were coming off their most one-sided loss of the season, but this one was much closer, with the hosts rallying from a 11-point deficit before falling on Rose’s game-winner.
Asked whether this is the toughest stretch the Pelicans have endured in his five seasons at the helm, head coach Alvin Gentry quickly responded, “Yes it is. Without a doubt. Yes it is.”
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Trailing by two with 0.3 seconds left, New Orleans drew up an inbound alley oop pass to high-leaping Jaxson Hayes, who got his hands on the feed and tipped the ball, but couldn’t quite direct it into the hoop. The buzzer sounded, marking a ninth consecutive defeat for the Pelicans, who travel to Milwaukee and Philadelphia this week.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brandon Ingram registered his fourth game of 30-plus points for New Orleans, including double figures in both halves. Ingram’s 17 first-half points helped the Pelicans grab a 53-47 halftime edge; he added 14 after intermission. Overall, the fourth-year forward notched 31 points on 11/21 shooting from the field, including 4/9 three-point accuracy.
BY THE NUMBERS
8/38: New Orleans three-point shooting, despite Ingram’s 4/9 performance, meaning the rest of the squad was 4/29.
11/70: New Orleans three-point shooting over the past two games, after going 3/32 in Dallas on Saturday.
34-21: Detroit third-quarter advantage, turning a six-point halftime deficit into an 81-74 lead.
For the sixth time in seven weeks of this regular season, Brandon Ingram earned the most votes from fans in a Player of the Week poll, this time garnering 62 percent of ballots. In a total of three games this week (two vs. Dallas, Thursday vs. Phoenix), the forward averaged 19.7 points per game. Ingram continues to be very efficient offensively, shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range.