Thanks to Adam Mokoka’s efforts in mop-up duty, the Pelicans beating the Bulls 125-119 in a game that wasn’t as close as close as the final score indicated isn’t the story.
Well, not the *ENTIRE* story.
Mokoka scored 15 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field (including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers) in five minutes in a display of aggressive basketball that hadn’t been displayed in the previous 43 minutes of game time. It’s probably not a performance that will move the needle, but maybe it should. Not because Mokoka is going to be the next big thing, but a guy who grinds, practices hard, sits on the end of the bench, then comes in and plays like his hair is on fire should be a wake-up call for a team that was sleep-walking through most of Thursday night’s loss.
As for the rest of the game … yikes!
The Pelicans dominated. They led by as many as 27 points, had five different players register in double-figures in scoring, connected on 42.1 percent of their 3-pointers, put up 27 points on turnovers, and ran circles around the Bulls on their home court. Zion Williamson looked as good as advertised with 21 points on 9 of 11 shooting, Brandon Ingram looked like the type of player who deserved to be a lottery pick a few years ago, and Lonzo Ball dished out 10 assists to go with nine points. Zach LaVine told reporters after the game: “We got our a** whooped.” and that’s putting it kindly.
Despite all that, the Bulls were able to trim a 20+ point deficit to four with less than five seconds to go. They got a pair of missed free throws, but then this happened:
Bulls with a furious comeback. Felicio says F the comeback loool pic.twitter.com/q9R5jBjuGP
— Ⓜ️arcusD ▶️ (@_MarcusD3_) February 7, 2020
What an unfortunate, but fitting way to end a game.
And no, that the Pelicans covered the spread on a Cristiano Felicio own-goal tip-in is not lost on me. Thanks for pointing that out, Silvy!
Maybe there should be more Mokoka and less Felicio? Hey, it’s an idea!