5. Boo this Fans at Smoothie King Center still boo Eric Gordon throughout his games in New Orleans, usually with every time he touches the ball. It has not worked well. Gordon, who played in New Orleans from 2011 to 2016, has averaged 18. 3 points against his former team, the third-most he has averaged against any opponent in his career.
1. Shorthanded but still strong At full strength, the Pelicans have looked like a contender. With their stars out, they look very tough to beat, anyway. The Rockets will once again see the version of the Pelicans that does not include Zion Williamson, who left Monday’s game with a strained right hamstring and was ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Rockets. Brandon Ingram, an All-Star in 2020, was already out with a bruised left great toe.
When the Rockets previous played the Pelicans in New Orleans, they had tied the game with two minutes left following a Jalen Green alley-oop slam and a slick Kevin Porter Jr. drive. The next three possessions ended in turnovers. The Pelicans surged to a 119-106 win, outscoring the Rockets 29-8 to finish the game. Nearly two months later, this has been shown to not be unusual. The Pelicans are the top offensive team in the NBA in the fourth quarter this season. The Rockets have excelled defensively down the stretch of close games and have the best defensive rating in the NBA in clutch situations. But they are last offensively in the final five minutes of games with a margin or five points or fewer.
Pelicans vs. Rockets: New Orleans Regrouping Due To InjuriesThe New Orleans Pelicans will start getting used to playing without Zion Williamson against the Houston Rockets. New Orleans, La. - The New Orleans Pelicans (23-14) will start getting used to playing without Zion Williamson against the Houston Rockets (10-27). Williamson (hamstring) pulled up with a limp against the Philadelphia 76ers and will be re-evaluated in three weeks. Williamson, Brandon Ingram (toe), and Larry Nance Jr. (shoulder) will all miss out on the visit from the Houston Rockets, who will be missing Jae’Sean Tate (right ankle soreness).
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY SportsGordon in particular is souring on his lottery team situation and seems to be pushing for a trade before the NBA Trade Deadline. The former New Orleans play said of Houston, “There’s no improvement. The same old thing all year, ” Gordon elaborated. "We have a small margin for error... It’s a lot of things. It’s the mindset. You got to play for one another. Do what’s right by your teammates. If you do that, it’d be more fun.
In New Orleans, the Rockets made 1 of 10 3-pointers with nine turnovers in the fourth quarter. They still struggle at closing time. 3. Finishing school, II After misfiring from the 3-point line through much of December, Rockets guard Jalen Green has seemed to have rediscovered his shooting touch. In the past seven games, he has averaged 22. 1 points, making 39.
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But the Pelicans this season have gone 4-1 when Ingram and Williamson have not played. Both have played exceedingly well against the Rockets with Ingram averaging 29. 8 points on 54. 1 percent shooting in four games the past seasons and Williamson scoring 26 points when he made 8 of 9 shots against the Rockets in November. Williamson has been especially dominant lately, averaging 30 points on 62. ;7 percent shooting in his past 10 games. But guard C.
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The Pelicans return home after losing games in Memphis and Philadelphia, but they are 16-4 in Smoothie King Center with a four-game home winning streak. The Pelicans, one of just four teams in the top 10 in offensive and defensive rating, are still third in the Western Conference even after consecutive losses, just one game behind the Nuggets for the top spot. After a 10-5 December, the Pelicans’ Willie Green was named the Western Conference coach of the month.
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J. McCollum, who was struggling when the Rockets played in New Orleans in November, has been hot, averaging 26 points and making 46. 2 percent of his shots including 50. 5 percent of his 3-pointers, adding 4. 7 rebounds and 6. 7 assists per game in that stretch. Trey Murphy III has usually started in Ingram’s spot with Naji Marshall or Jaxson Hayes most likely to step into the starting lineup for Williamson.
3 percent of his 3-pointers. But as he returns to New Orleans, where he scored 33 points — one shy of his season high — Green has not been a factor as a scorer in fourth quarters. In the 11 games since he scored 12 fourth-quarter points in the Dec. 11 win against the Milwaukee Bucks, he has scored 18 fourth-quarter points, taking an average of just 1. 9 shots in the fourth quarter. He averaged 8. 4 third-quarter points in that stretch. Green made 2 of 3 shots in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ game in New Orleans. 4. A turnover turnaround? The Rockets went from committing 25 turnovers against the Knicks to a season-low 10 against Mavericks. One game might not be enough to indicate the problem has been solved.
The Rockets have lost 9 of their last 10 games. Kevin Porter Jr. (25 points, 55. 0% FG, 6 assists) and Alperen Sengun (16 points, 71. 4% FG, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) did put a scare into Dallas earlier this week though, so the Pelicans will have to utilize their deep bench to keep pace in the Western Conference chase for home-court advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs. When: January 4 @ 7 PM CSTWhere: Smoothie King CenterWatch: Bally Sports New OrleansListen: 99. 5 WRNOCJ McCollum's push for an All-Star spot starts in earnest now.
Rockets at Pelicans: Five things to watchPlaying better could reflect improvement, a popular topic of conversation about the Rockets in the past few days. But as they face the Pelicans in the first game of a back-to-back, with the similarly potent Jazz to be at Toyota Center on Thursday, the Rockets would like the more tangible evidence that strides are being made that would come with a win. That will not be easy. They have lost their past four meetings with the Pelicans and have a four-game losing streak in New Orleans.
Since then the Georgia Tech alum is 10/51 from beyond the three-point arc. Murphy III has as many games scoring 9 points or less as he does 12 or more in the last dozen games. Jones has only made more than one three-pointer just eight times all season but there have been 12 games where he has missed every outside shot. Jones and Naji Marshall should be able to give Eric Gordon and Jalen Green trouble defensively. Jalen Green is shooting only 39. 6% from the field and 28. 3% on 3-pointers over his last 18 games and the Rockets have fallen into last place based on offensive efficiency and overall record. Nov 12, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) dribbles against Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) during the first half at Smoothie King Center.
And the 25 they committed Saturday were not a season high. That was the 26 turnovers the Rockets committed in their previous game in New Orleans. While the Rockets lead the league in turnovers per game, giving up the most points off turnovers, the Pelicans force the fourth-most turnovers in the NBA and average the third-most points scored off turnovers. They are second in steals, leading to the sort of live-ball turnovers that plague the Rockets. The Pelicans scored 32 points off turnovers in the first meeting, 15 in the fourth quarter. That ended with a Jose Alvarado steal when the Rockets were ready to dribble out the final seconds, angering Kevin Porter Jr. who shoved Alvarado, leading to double technical fouls and ejections.
Larry Nance Jr. is also out with a sore right shoulder. When: 7 p. m. WednesdayWhere: Smoothie King Center, New OrleansTV: AT&T SportsNet SouthwestRadio: 790 AMRecords: Rockets 10-27, Pelicans 23-14 2. Finishing school The Rockets’ loss to the Mavericks on Monday was the latest example of their difficulties offensively late in games. It was far from the first.
He scored 42 points on a career- and franchise-high 11 made three-pointers against the Philadelphia 76ers in a home win back in December. Williamson was hurt in the return game to the City of Brotherly Love. Jonas Valanciunas gives head coach Willie Green another respected veteran to lean on. Past those two stalwarts though, the Pelicans need some of the younger guys to step up. The heralded draft class of Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado, and Trey Murphy III have been streaky as of late. Alvarado had 38 points in the December 4 home win over the Denver Nuggets.
Houston Rockets vs New Orleans Pelicans Mar 13 - NBA.com ''Everybody who played came in and played with purpose. Just beautiful basketball to watch when we do it together like that.'' Undrafted rookie Jose Alvarado