Jam in final seconds is difference in close games
WASHINGTON — John Wall found Nene under the basket with 0.3 seconds remaining to give the Wizards a 94-93 victory over the Pelicans.
“That one hurt,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “Like I told our guys, there’s no other way to put it: It just hurt.”
After Anthony Davis calmly sank two free throws with seven seconds remaining, the Pelicans felt good about their chances.
“Yeah, (we felt good), but we knew the game wasn’t over, with one more possession and an All-Star like John Wall,” guard Anthony Morrow said.
In a matchup of former Kentucky first overall selections, the former, John Wall finished with 10 points and 12 assists. The Pelicans’ Davis finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Morrow knocked down seven of his eight shot attempts, finishing with 18 points, while guards Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Brian Roberts all struggled to get going, Morrow was able to pick up the slack and give New Orleans a chance in the end.
In a game that featured 22 lead changes, the game was tied at halftime, at 43-43, as well as after the third quarter, at 66-66. With only one point separating the teams with under 5 minutes remaining, the game came down to the wire.
“It was tough,” said Morrow. “Last play of the game, (Wall) penetrated and made a great pass. It is what it is.”
With the loss, the Pelicans dropped to 10-20 on the road this season. Allowing the Wizards to make 10 of their first 14 didn’t help the cause as the Wizards built their biggest lead, jumping out for a 14-7 first quarter lead.
“It’s always tough to win on the road,” said Davis. “To come that close and lose, especially on a play like that, is tough.”
Davis refused to use injuries as an excuse for their recent struggles, as the Pelicans are still missing forward Ryan Anderson and former All-Star Jrue Holiday.
The Pelicans, now losers of three in a row out of the All-Star Game break, have managed only nine wins in their past 26 games.
Nene tied a season-high with 30 points, while recording seven rebounds for the Wizards (27-28).
While playoff hopes are quickly diminishing, New Orleans (23-31) will look to bounce back on Monday, when they host the Los Angeles Clippers.