New Orleans Pelicans vs. Washington Wizards Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 14th 2024

The New Orleans Pelicans will play just their second home game in 19 days when they meet the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The Pelicans weathered their annual Mardi Gras road stretch well, going 6-3 while playing eight of nine away from home. They finished the final four games of the stretch by going 3-1 on the road, including a 96-87 victory at Memphis on Monday. New Orleans will head into the All-Star break after Wednesday’s game then return next week with three straight home games. The Pelicans’ victory against the short-handed Grizzlies came two days after a 93-84 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers, who have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. “We just went back to relying on our defense and continuing to play hard,” said Herbert Jones Jr., who led New Orleans’ balanced scoring effort with 17 points against Memphis.

“We knew it’s still an NBA team, those are still NBA guys.” New Orleans led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter and held off a Grizzlies rally despite scoring just 10 points in a fourth quarter in which they allowed just 14. The Pelicans extended Memphis’ NBA-worst losing streak to nine games. “We didn’t start well, then we got it going,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “We came out in the third quarter and we played well and then the wheels fell off, but we found a way at the end.” The Pelicans learned earlier Monday that guard Dyson Daniels, one of their top reserves, would miss an indefinite period because of a meniscus tear in his left knee. Even in his absence, New Orleans’ bench had a significant role in the victory. The reserves triggered a 21-8 closing second-quarter run that produced a 61-47 halftime lead. “They were awesome,” Green said. “The moment those guys got in the game the game turned. They played with energy, toughness, speed, force. It was fun to watch. We have to get off to better starts, but those guys are huge for us.” The Pelicans now face the team with the second-worst record in the East. The Wizards’ 112-104 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night was their seventh consecutive. Washington was in position to end its losing streak but was outscored 34-16 in the fourth quarter. “They made some plays down the stretch,” Wizards interim head coach Brian Keefe said of the Mavericks. “But I thought we played toe to toe pretty much the whole game. I loved our defensive intensity. I was really proud of the effort.” New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram scored what was then his season-high of 40 points and Trey Murphy III made six 3-pointers on his way to 27 points in the Pelicans’ 144-122 victory over the host Wizards on Dec. 13. Kyle Kuzma scored 27 points to lead Washington, which led by 15 points early, but quickly lost control. Wizards rookie Bilal Coulibaly made four 3-pointers and scored 16 points. –Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping