NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 21st (All times Eastern)
New Orleans Pelicans (23-30) at Charlotte Bobcats (25-30), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Bobcats have won two straight after the All-Star break and will try to keep the momentum going Friday night when they host the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Bobcats were active on deadline day Thursday. They acquired guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrian.
"We are excited to add a pair of quality players to our backcourt," President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins said. "Gary is an exceptional shooter and Luke is a veteran point guard who can help us off the bench. They both have significant postseason experience so they know how to get where we're trying to go."
Granted, both of Charlotte's consecutive victories came against the Detroit Pistons, a win streak is a win streak. The Bobcats have also claimed two consecutive home wins.
Against the Pistons at home on Wednesday, Al Jefferson scored a game-high 29 points and also pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Bobcats to a 116-98 win over the Pistons, to complete the sweep of a home-and-home set.
Kemba Walker added 24 points and handed out a career-high 16 assists, Josh McRoberts scored 15 points to go with five rebounds and five assists and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Gerald Henderson finished with 11 points apiece for the Bobcats, who moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Pistons for the eight spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We're in a great position right now to make playoffs and we want to make it. There's only one way to get there and that's with focus and working hard and getting wins," Walker said.
The Bobcats shot 51.2 percent from the field and 40 percent from long range. They did commit 15 turnovers, which did lead to 22 Pistons points.
The Pelicans dropped their first game of the second half, a 98-91 setback at home to the New York Knicks.
The Pelicans came up short despite a 28-point performance from Eric Gordon and a 14-point, 10-rebound, five-block effort out of Anthony Davis. Austin Rivers also tallied 14 points in a losing cause, followed by 10 from Brian Roberts.
"We just missed a lot of shots and we didn't share the ball like we usually do," Pelicans head coach Monty Williams said.
New Orleans recorded only 16 assists on Wednesday.
The Pelicans could not stop Carmelo Anthony late in the game, but also made some costly mistakes.
The Pelicans will visit Washington on this short road trip. They return home for one game, then embark on a five-game sojourn.
New Orleans beat the Bobcats by 21 in the Big Easy on Nov. 2. The Pelicans have taken four straight and six of the last seven meetings between the two teams.
The Pelicans have won four in a row in Charlotte.
02/21 10:21:45 ET