The Pelicans last night added their first victory of the course under the guidance of an excellent Jonas Valanciunas. The Lithuanian center went up to 22 points and 23 rebounds to lead the Louisiana team on the Timberwolves court, where they ended up winning 98-107.
New Orleans set the pace for the game from very early on, since between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second they signed a 14-0 run that put them at a clear advantage. From that moment they did not lose the lead in the electronic one, and even went so far as to win by 21 points of difference. Minnesota’s efforts to turn the scoreboard were unsuccessful.
Valanciunas, who played 39 minutes and achieved his career rebounding record, ended up really exhausted; so much so that Willie Green, his coach, comments that the center he stopped the game in the last quarter to rest.
“I’ve had several conversations with him and I said, ‘Let’s play on you, buddy.’ In fact, he asked for a time-out on his own because he was so tired. I looked at him and said, ‘Sit down for the full three minutes and get back on the court, we have to finish the game.’ He is a warrior.
In addition to Valanciunas, the Pelicans featured Brandon Ingram’s 27 points and 9 rebounds, as well as Devonte ‘Graham’s 21 points and 7 assists. For him guard it was key that they take care of the ball better than in the last game, when they committed up to 30 losses …
“When you have 30 turnovers in a game, it will be difficult to beat any opponent. Take care of the ball. Seventeen losses is still too much, but they are a good defensive team. We were just able to hold our ground, ”he says.
That’s how it is. Karl-Anthony Towns was impressive with 32 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks. Anthony Edwards on his own went up to 28 points and 9 rebounds. What then went wrong? Well, the third pillar of the team. D’Angelo Russell stayed at 9 points with a 3 of 14 shooting from the field, numbers that undoubtedly weighed down his team in the game. Towns believes they lacked the maturity to understand what the game was asking for at certain times.
“I think we lost a lot of possessions where a shot was not needed, including me. We have forced too much. It’s disappointing. We understood what this match would be like. We understood what the rival was going to put on the table. We simply did not do what was necessary, “he says.
(Photograph by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)