With Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans nursing injuries, Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson matched his career-high with 36 points Thursday night, leading the Pelicans to a 114-105 win against the visiting Kings.
DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 10 rebounds in the loss for Sacramento.
Jrue Holiday added 25 points and eight assists for New Orleans; Norris Cole had 17 points and a career-high 10 assists.
Per the AP:
It is now apparent that coach Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo, flowing system has caught on in New Orleans, and it looks like the transformation has taken place in time for the surging Pelicans to make a run at a playoff spot. […] “Obviously, Ryan was great, but I thought our other guys stepped up,” Gentry said. “When they made a run at us, we kept our composure and were able to come up with the necessary baskets to extend the lead back. I was happy with the way everyone played.”
While neither team is currently in the Western Conference playoff picture, both came in winning five of their previous seven games. So it looked bleak for New Orleans when Gentry announced before tip-off that Davis, who went down with a concussion Monday night, and Evans, who has right knee tendinitis, would be out — removing two of the Pelicans’ top three scorers from the lineup.
Now New Orleans, which opened the season at 1-11, is 17-28 and three games behind Portland for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. The Pelicans have won six of eight, with the only losses in that stretch coming by two points at Memphis last week and by one point Monday night against Houston. […] “We’ve been playing hard and playing really good defense and just playing for each other,” Holiday said. “If we keep doing that, I think we can be where we want to be at the end of the day.”