NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It's a good thing for the New Orleans Pelicans that Ryan Anderson doesn't let an off night stop him from unleashing long-range shots with the game on the line.
Anderson shook off some unusually poor shooting and hit two clutch 3-pointers in overtime that carried the New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
"It's important that I stay aggressive on this team. I think coach has a lot of confidence in me, a lot of faith in me and if I'm passive or if I don't take a shot when I'm open, it could hurt the team," Anderson said. "So when I get an open chance I want to shoot it confidently. ... You can never give up your confidence on the court, no matter how awful the shooting night you have."
Jason Smith showed he is getting increasingly comfortable at center after spending much of his early pro career at power forward. The 7-footer never backed down against the size and strength Detroit had underneath with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
Smith scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for the Pelicans, who snapped a two-game skid while handing Detroit its third straight loss.
"He was a monster tonight," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "Here's a guy doing it on both ends of the floor, has a career night and just didn't give in."
Anderson finished with 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting, including 4 of 12 from 3-point range. Jrue Holiday added 19 points and Al-Farouq Aminu, whose teammates call him "Chief," had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Asked what it meant for the Pelicans to outrebound Detroit 51-43 — turning 16 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points — Anderson said, "It means Jason and Chief battled their tails off tonight. ... It just means that we wanted it more."
New Orleans also got 14 points from Tyreke Evans, whom the Pelicans expected to miss a week or two after an ankle sprain Friday. Instead, he returned without missing a game, but acknowledged he played in pain.
"I just felt like I could help," said Evans, adding that he understood his team was already short-handed because of Anthony Davis' broken hand. "Once I felt like I could run and cut side-to-side, I said, 'I'm going to play.'"
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