CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It wasn’t an artistic success, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. But there was plenty in the team’s 101-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets to be happy about.
“I thought we played great defensively,” Gentry said Wednesday after the Pelicans limited Charlotte to 42 percent shooting from the floor. Hornets’ standout guard Kemba Walker was held to 8-of-21 field goal shooting by the Pelicans.
“I think anytime you can come in and win a game on the road, it’s a good win,” he added.
One thing Gentry wasn’t happy about was turnovers. The Pelicans committed 15 of those, including 10 in the first half.
“Obviously, (the turnover problem) is a little disturbing,” he said. “Some of the turnovers were good turnovers, because we were trying to do the right thing and get the ball to the right people. So those, you can live with.”
Big bench night
With the Hornets keying on DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans needed some support from the bench. Gentry said he was happy with the reserves’ performances.
“Omar (Asik) came in and gave us four good minutes, and Deandre (Liggins) came in, and obviously the guys who have been playing,” Gentry said. “Jameer (Nelson) played great, I thought, and did what we needed him to do.”
Dante Cunningham finished with nine points, and fellow bench players Darius Miller and Nelson added eight apiece.
It was the 1,000th NBA game for Hornets center Dwight Howard, and he had a big night, with game-high totals of 22 points and 16 rebounds.
“He’s a great defender,” the Pelicans’ Davis said. “He is constantly improving on his offensive game, so when you continue to get better, you stay in the league.”
“Congrats to him playing in 1,000 games,” Davis added. “I’m pretty sure he is going to surpass that by a lot.”
Gentry’s family ties
Gentry is a native of Shelby, about 50 miles west of Charlotte. Among friends and family members in the crowd Wednesday night in Charlotte was his cousin, NBA Hall-of-Famer David Thompson.
Gentry is also part of a unique brotherhood in coaching. He and Steve Wilks are the only case of head coaches in the NBA and NFL playing at the same college. Gentry and Wilks, who was named head coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals earlier this week, were athletes at Appalachian State University, about 100 miles northwest of Charlotte.
One more time
The Pelicans and Hornets will meet one more time this season — March 13 in New Orleans.