The Washington Wizards aim to continue their tradition of success against New Orleans when they host the Pelicans on Tuesday. Washington has won 10 of the past 11 meetings with the Pelicans, and won last season’s two meetings by an average of 13.5 points.
The Wizards suffered a 106-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday when their offense disintegrated and they scored just 16 fourth-quarter points. “Shots just didn’t go in,” Washington shooting guard Bradley Beal said afterward. “We had a lot of good looks, a lot of open 3s, a lot of easy ones at the rim. A few turnovers hurt us, but all in all, we had good shots. They just didn’t go.” New Orleans also is coming off a loss and it blew an 18-point lead en route to a 117-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Power forward Anthony Davis tweaked his left ankle while contributing 28 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots but is expected to play against the Wizards.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, NBCSN Washington
ABOUT THE PELICANS (15-15): Defense has been an issue for New Orleans as it has allowed more than 100 points in each of the past 11 games, losing seven of the contests. The Pelicans are allowing an average of 117.6 points during the stretch - they have given up 120 or more four times - and rank 29th (of 30) in scoring defense at 111.7 per game. Guard Jrue Holiday scored 25 points against the Nuggets and is averaging 26.7 points over the past seven games, scoring 34 or more three times during the stretch.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (16-14): Point guard John Wall is still working his way back into top shape after a knee injury and he had 15 points and a season-best 10 rebounds against Cleveland in his third game back. Wall is averaging just 14.3 points since his return and his shooting has been suspect - 17-of-47 - while committing 10 turnovers. Small forward Otto Porter Jr. (hip) was badly missed against the Cavaliers and coach Scott Brooks feels he will be available against the Pelicans.
1. The Wizards held the Pelicans to an average of 92.5 points in last year’s two meetings.
2. New Orleans C DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 29.6 points over the past eight games - including a 40-point effort and twice scoring 38.
3. Wall (9,787 points) moved into fifth place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list on Sunday, surpassing Phil Chenier (9,778 from 1971-80) and Gus Johnson (9,781 from 1963-72).
PREDICTION: Wizards 105, Pelicans 96