Finally, New Orleans’ coaches and players communicated clearly. The message from the bench:
Wave the white flag.
Cole allowed Wade to dribble out the clock and Miami to preserve its 94-88 overtime win. Behind 30 points and 10 rebounds from Chris Bosh, the Heat moved to 7-0 on Christmas the last seven years.
Their latest Dec. 25 victory tipoff tipped shortly after noon, and it showed. Both teams looked off, though Miami’s defense certainly contributed to the Pelicans’ woes.
But plenty of New Orleans’ wounds were self-inflicted.
For a while, the biggest drama was whether Anthony Davis – who finished with 29 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks – would outscore his teammates. Davis dominated, but other Pelicans were equally miserable. It took New Orleans five possessions to score and 12 for someone other than Davis.
Davis, who played 50 minutes, eventually tired. Still, the Heat couldn’t muster enough offense to put the game out of reach.
Ryan Anderson (18 points and eight rebounds) provided a spark for the Pelicans, who overcame a 13-point deficit despite absolute dreadful play by their starting backcourt, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon.
Yet, New Orleans’ making the game competitive only highlighted their disarray.
Multiple times out of time outs, the players looked completely out of sync with what Alvin Gentry wanted to run. That including the Pelicans’ final possession of regulation. Gentry called timeout, drew up a play and then immediately called another timeout when the team began to run the ply incorrectly. The result? Davis missing a contested jumper and the game remaining tied.
Bosh scored seven points in overtime, and New Orleans couldn’t wait to end its first Christmas game since 2008.
Welcome to the national spotlight, Anthony Davis.