After cutting a 15-point deficit to six points to start the fourth quarter, the Pelicans continued to fight, using Langston Galloway’s three point shooting and Jrue Holiday’s clutch performance in overtime to come back and defeat the Suns, 120-119, Sunday evening in the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
With the win, the Pelicans (8-17) tied the season series at 1-1 with the Suns and snapped a five game losing streak. New Orleans also converted on 16 three pointers in the game, the most recorded by the Pelicans this season. New Orleans improved to 2-3 in overtime games.
Galloway, who finished with 12 points, scored all 12 in the fourth quarter, going 4-of-7 from three-point range. Holiday led the Pelicans in scoring with 23 points.
Holiday’s overtime performance, one that included a strong finish in the paint plus critical free throws, helped the Pelicans seal the victory.
Despite shooting only 39 percent from the floor, the Pelicans converted 40 percent off 16-of-40 shooting from three-point range, the big difference maker in the game. The Pelicans shot 80 percent off 28-of-35 shooting from the free throw line and outscored the Suns in bench points, 62-37.
The Suns shot 46 percent off 44-of-96 shooting from the floor, 34 percent off 14-of-41 shooting from behind the arc and 65 percent off 17-of-26 shooting from the charity stripe. Despite a losing effort, the Suns outrebounded the Pelicans, 57-49, and outscored them in the points in the paint, 50-36. Eric Bledsoe led the Suns in scoring with 32 points.
The Suns (7-17) led 87-81 early in the fourth before the Pelicans went on an early 6-0 run to tie the game at 87. Following a timeout with 7:54 to play, the Suns held a 94-87 lead before Galloway hit a clutch three pointer to bring the score to 90-94, starting a strong surge of confidence for the Pelicans offensively.
From there, the two teams continued to exchange baskets down to the wire. After Holiday connected on a pair of free throws, Bledsoe finished on a well-contested layup to tie the game at 110, sending it to overtime.
Much like the first half, both teams exchanged baskets back and forth to start the third quarter before the Suns exploded to take another 15-point lead. However, behind the play of E’Twaun Moore, Tim Frazier and Buddy Hield, the Pelicans cut the deficit to 76-82 going into the fourth quarter.
The Suns maintained a six-point lead for first half of the second quarter before the Pelicans fought back much like they did in the first quarter, cutting the deficit to 43-42. Following a timeout with 5:53 left to play, the Suns went on a 15-2 run to take a 14-point lead, behind the shooting of Bledsoe, Leandro Barbosa and Devin Booker.
However, in the final three minutes, the Pelicans scored some easy buckets, cut the lead 58-51 at the half. The Pelicans shot 39 percent off 19-of-49 shooting from the floor and 39 percent off 7-of-16 from three-point range. Reggie Williams led New Orleans in scoring with 11 points at the half.
The Suns, who continued their sharp three point shooting in the second quarter, shot 38 percent off 8-of-21 shooting from behind the arc and 56 percent off 23-of-46 shooting from the floor. Barbosa led the Suns in scoring with 11 points off the bench.
The Suns jumped out to an early 19-14 lead to begin the game. Phoenix used its three point shooting to sustain the early lead. As the quarter went on, with both teams scoring back and forth, the Pelicans narrowed the deficit to 25-22. However, the Suns led the Pelicans 31-25 going into the second.
TIP-INS (Pelicans): Bench Play
New Orleans bench players contributed over half of the Pelicans total points in the game, with a majority of them coming from Reggie Williams, Frazier and Galloway.
Reggie Williams, a player to watch
Williams, who came from the NBA D-League, played a big role in the first half to help the Pelicans stay in the game, hitting clutch three pointers and finishing with 17 points in 20 minutes.
Negatives: Struggles from Anthony Davis offensively
Despite a strong rebounding performance from Davis, who finished 12 total, he scored only 14 points in the contest.
Pelicans: New Orleans returns to action on Tuesday at 7 PM to play the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center.
Suns: Phoenix also returns to action Tuesday at 8 PM to play the New York Knicks at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.