Hill's career-high 30 lead Pelicans past Rockets 128-112

Holiday was guarded by Rockets guard Patrick Beverly on Friday night, one of the best perimeter defenders in the National Basketball Association, but Hill's success allowed Holiday to play off the ball and pick his spots.

Houston's MVP candidate James Harden collected his 18th triple-double of the season, with 41 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. He will be documenting some of his interactions with players and coaches here for us in a regular column called, Behind the Bench.

The New Orleans Pelicans will be without the service of center DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening against the Houston Rockets due to left knee soreness and a rib contusion, the team announced prior to the game. I didn't know he was going to be traded like that. "Him being aggressive, starting off getting to the free throw line, especially him today, dictated our tempo". Just try to go by feel.

And unlike those movies, the Pelicans are hoping the switch can remain permanent as they embark on the final 14 games of the season.

The Pelicans got a total team effort in beating a Rockets squad that won by 30 the last time they visited New Orleans. "We'll just try to not mess them up".

Even rookie Wayne Selden notched 11 points, playing in just the third game of his career.

Since trading for Cousins, New Orleans is 2-0 with the big man out of the lineup, and the team has had some obvious issues figuring out how to integrate the three-time All-Star into what it built on offense during the first half of the season.

C DeMarcus Cousins scored a team-high 22 points and served at times as a 6-foot-11 point guard, throwing a ideal lob pass to Anthony Davis for a reverse slam and a behind-the-back pass to Dante Cunningham for another uncontested dunk and an 83-57 lead.

Frazier finished the night with 14 points, six assists, five boards and two steals.

"He's been shooting the ball better from the perimeter, but he's done a good job of attacking the rim".

"But I think what we did well tonight - we moved the basketball", Davis stressed. D'Antoni may hold out Nene against New Orleans and go with the center tandem of Clint Capela and Montrezl Harrell.

"The guy is averaging 25 [points] and 12 rebounds", Gentry said of Cousins.

"I just think it's going to take time", Holiday said "Obviously, going from a place where (Cousins) was the center of everything to playing with (Davis) now and the way we want to play and moving".

  • Julie Sanders