May 27, 2024

The New Orleans Pelicans ended a five-game losing streak with impressive victories against the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets at home. They aim to maintain this positive momentum in the upcoming game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the fourth match of a six-game homestand. Notably, the Pelicans showcased their most potent offensive performance of the season in a 131-110 win against the Mavericks and continued their success with a 115-110 victory over the Nuggets, where three players scored over 20 points.

The team attributes its improved offensive efficiency to a stronger defensive effort. Forward Zion Williamson, who contributed 26 points against the Nuggets, highlighted the growing trust among teammates on the defensive end, emphasizing the connection between defensive stops and transition opportunities. In the recent game against Denver, the Pelicans demonstrated proficiency in both field-goal attempts and three-pointers, making 52 percent of each. Key players like Jonas Valanciunas, Brandon Ingram, Naji Marshall, and Dyson Daniels made significant contributions, leading the Pelicans to a 20-point lead, though the Nuggets narrowed the gap in the final quarter.

Pelicans head coach Willie Green commended the team’s collective energy and effort, emphasizing their ability to withstand the opponent’s comeback. The Pelicans face a back-to-back challenge against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who experienced a setback in their last game against the Phoenix Suns, ending a seven-game winning streak with a 133-115 loss. Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards acknowledged the defeat as a resounding loss, pointing out the Suns’ impressive shooting performance.

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert emphasized the need for increased urgency and physicality, acknowledging controllable factors that could have influenced their performance. Despite the challenges of back-to-back games and fatigue, Gobert emphasized the importance of maintaining consistent effort, especially in critical situations like potential playoff Game 7 scenarios.

In their previous encounter on November 8, the Timberwolves secured a 122-101 victory over the Pelicans, with Edwards, Towns, and Gobert playing pivotal roles. As both teams prepare for their upcoming matchup, the Pelicans aim to build on their recent successes, while the Timberwolves seek to rebound from their recent defeat and replicate their earlier triumph over New Orleans.

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