Having clinched a playoff berth Rees Odhiambo Jersey , Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans are looking ahead.
They are one of five teams in the mix for the No. 4 seed in the wild West, and a win against the Spurs in their regular season finale would give the Pelicans home-court advantage.
”We know we’re not done,” Davis said after scoring 28 points in a 113-100 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. ”It wasn’t just our goal to get here, but to make some noise.”
Nikola Mirotic had 24 points and 16 rebounds in the Pelicans’ fourth straight victory. They’ll be making just their second playoff appearance in seven years, having earned it without big man DeMarcus Cousins, who sustained a season-ending Achilles injury on Jan. 28.
The Pelicans proceeded to lose four of five before winning 10 in a row.
”When he went down, everybody on the team just picked it up,” Davis said.
Sindarius Thornwell scored 20 points off the bench, DeAndre Jordan had 15 rebounds and Montrezl Harrell added 15 points for the Clippers, who have lost three in a row while being eliminated from playoff contention.
The Pelicans shot 51 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3-point range in the first half. The Clippers fought back from an 11-point deficit to lead 47-45 before New Orleans closed on a 13-2 run to lead 59-49 at the break.
The Pelicans were just getting rolling.
Their scoring binge continued into the third Michael Crabtree Jersey , and when it was over – a 33-6 spurt over both halves – they led 79-53. Davis had nine points, Mirotic eight and E’Twaun Moore seven.
”Anthony has taken this team and put it on his back,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ”If we could have had a better record his name would definitely be in the MVP conversation.”
Davis stirred the crowd with an off the glass pass from Rajon Rondo that resulted in a one-handed alley-oop dunk in the run.
”That was exciting,” teammate Jrue Holiday said. ”I’d rather him do that in the playoffs than now.”
Thornwell got a roar for a jam over DeAndre Liggins in the game’s final minutes.
Pelicans: They improved to 26-25 vs the West. … They won the season series 3-1. … New Orleans hasn’t made it past the first round of the playoffs since 2007-08.
Clippers: C Boban Marjanovic scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth. … Starting guards Austin Rivers (right elbow soreness) and Lou Williams (sprained right ankle) sat out, but are likely to return for Wednesday’s season finale.
THE BEARDLESS ONE
Since shaving his beard last week, Mirotic has played like a new man. He came in averaging 28 points and shooting 56 percent from the field, compared to 14.6 points and 28 percent shooting with the beard he’d had since 2013. ”You look like you’re 18 now, so you’re getting some calls,” Gentry told Mirotic.
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Rookie C.J. Williams was signed to a multi-year contract after being a two-way player this season. The 28-year-old guard has appeared in 37 games for the Clippers – he started Monday – and 16 games for their NBA G League affiliate in Ontario. The North Carolina State graduate played in France, Greece and Italy and the G League before signing with the Clippers last fall. ”I actually cried for about an hour,” said Williams, who surprised his visiting parents with the news. ”You think of all the things you’ve done to get to this point.” Coach Doc Rivers said Williams is ”a great, great person to have in your locker room. He came in and proved he’s an NBA player.”
HE SAID IT
”The MVP is (James) Harden. I’m going to announce it tonight.” – Rivers.
Pelicans: They host San Antonio to end the regular season on Wednesday.
Clippers: They host the Lakers on Wednesday in both teams’ season finale.
More NBA basketball:
NEW YORK — New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway has been using some variation of the term “sync up” so often lately, he sounds like an early 1990s music critic discussing Milli Vanilli. At least on Monday the Mets will face another out-of-sorts team whose fortunes are sinking faster than those of an exposed one-album wonder.
Two squads enduring a miserable June will meet when the Mets host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field. Seth Lugo (2-2, 2.85 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for New York against Jameson Taillon (4-6, 4.03 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.
Both teams suffered the final loss of a three-game sweep Sunday, when the Mets gave up seven solo homers in falling to the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-7 John Lynch Jersey , in 11 innings and the host Pirates dropped a 3-0 decision to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The losses ensured the Mets (31-44) and Pirates (36-41) will enter Monday with the worst June records in the National League. New York is 4-17 since the calendar flipped while Pittsburgh is 7-14.
The nosedives have all but ended once-robust playoff hopes. The Mets, who opened the season 11-1, are 12 1/2 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East and 10 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the race for the second wild card.
The Mets opened June in a historic offensive slump in which they scored just 20 runs in 12 games from June 1-15. New York has scored 47 runs in its last eight games but has lost three games in which it scored at least seven runs.
“We just can’t sync up exactly what we’re trying to do every day,” Callaway said Sunday. He also used the sync up expression following Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
“If we swing the bats, we give up seven homers,” Callaway said Sunday. “If we pitch and swing the bats good, our defense isn’t quite there. It’s kind of been the whole season — we’re not syncing up all the components that we need to sync up to win some ballgames. We did that early in the season.”
The Pirates are uttering the same laments. Through 43 games, Pittsburgh led the NL Central with a 26-17 record and ranked fifth in the majors in runs scored (216).
Since then, though, the Pirates have gone an NL-worst 10-24 while scoring just 123 runs Saquon Barkley Jersey , the fewest in the NL and the fourth-fewest in the majors.
“At the beginning of the season, pitching was clicking, hitting was clicking,” Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams told reporters after he took the loss Sunday, when he allowed three runs over six innings. “We’re starting to get apart from each other and we’re hitting a skid at the same time.”
Lugo will be looking to snap a two-start slump Monday. He didn’t factor into the decision last Wednesday, when he gave up six runs (three earned) over three innings as the Mets fell to the Rockies, 10-8.
Lugo has given up 11 runs (eight earned) over eight innings in his last two starts after tossing 13 straight scoreless innings in three games (two starts) from May 31-June 10.
Taillon took the loss last Tuesday, when he allowed three runs over five innings as the Pirates fell to the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-2. He has alternated wins with losses in four June starts.
Lugo has never faced the Pirates. Taillon is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts against the Mets. He made both starts consecutively to open his big league career in 2016 and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the second start on June 14.
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