Preview: Clippers at Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans averaged 140 points while winning their first two games and look for another scoring splurge when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. The Pelicans scored 131 points in their season-opening pounding of the Houston Rockets and followed up with a franchise-record 149 in a rout of the Sacramento Kings.
Forward Nikola Mirotic is averaging 33 points and 9.5 rebounds while big man Anthony Davis is contributing 28.5 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as New Orleans won its first two games by an average of 19.5 points. “We’ve been just playing fast, sharing the ball, playing very unselfish,” Mirotic told reporters. “I think we’re going to be big trouble for the rest of the teams.” The Clippers went 2-1 on a season-opening three-game homestand and are starting a stretch in which six of eight games are on the road. Los Angeles established a franchise record by making all 26 free throws during Sunday’s 115-112 win over the Houston Rockets.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS West (Los Angeles), FS New Orleans
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (2-1): Rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is displaying that he will be an immediate contributor as he reached double digits twice while averaging 8.3 points during the homestand. The 20-year-old had a solid all-around game in the win over the Rockets with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists and also is an asset on the defensive end. “We’re all composed and not fazed by the moment,” Gilgeous-Alexander told reporters. “I’m always really confident in myself. I know how hard I work and it pays off.”
ABOUT THE PELICANS (2-0): Mirotic is a scorching 11-of-17 from 3-point range and has tallied 30 or more points in both games, including a career-high 36 in the triumph over the Kings. “I had all of preseason to understand where I need to be, where are my best spots,” Mirotic told reporters, referencing his February arrival last season in a trade from the Chicago Bulls. “I think this is going to be a great year, but I want to be solid on both sides of the court. I know defensively I can step up, be better and rebound the ball. Those are my goals.” Davis registered double-doubles in both games and has made 21-of-33 shots from the field.
1. Davis averaged 29.8 points and 11.5 rebounds as the Pelicans went 3-1 against the Clippers last season.
2. Los Angeles F Danilo Gallinari has scored at least 20 points in consecutive games for the second time since joining the team last season.
3. New Orleans PF Julius Randle is averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds in his first two games since being signed as a free agent in the offseason.