The New Orleans Pelicans entered their road matchup against the Miami Heat without seven players on their roster and the effects of those absences were felt.
How it Happened:
The short-handed Pelicans lost another player due to injury in the opening quarter. Frank Jackson exited the game early due to a neck injury.
The Heat were inside the paint often with 18 points in the paint and five free throw attempts in the first quarter.
Miami jumped out to a 29-22 lead after the first behind 50 percent shooting from the field.
The Heat increased their lead to nine to begin the second quarter but back-to-back threes from Nickeil Alexander-Walker and a layup by Josh Gray cut it to just a one-point cushion for Miami.
It was announced later in the second that Derrick Favors would not return to the game due to a sore back.
But the Pelicans were able to keep the game within striking distance in the second. Miami’s biggest lead of the game was at 12 until the Pelicans closed the first half only trailing 54-49.
New Orleans’ offense couldn’t get going in the third quarter as they only scored 16 points out of the halftime break.
After getting outscored by eight points in the third, that was it for the Pelicans. Miami’s defense kept New Orleans under the 100-point mark and improved to 9-3 on the year after a 109-94 home win.
The Pelicans are now 3-9 overall after Saturday’s loss.
Big Number: 9
After Frank Jackson and Derrick Favors left the game, the Pelicans were without nine players on their roster against Miami.
Player of the Game: Nickeil Alexander-Walker
The Pelicans’ rookie scored a season-high 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field. Alexander-Walker drained six 3-pointers to go along with his four rebounds and three assists.
Up Next: Sunday vs Golden State Warriors; Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.