As the New Orleans Pelicans faced the Phoenix Suns in their latest encounter of the 2020-21 season, it seemed like all was going well for the former side after the end of first 3 quarters. Little did anyone know, what was in store for the Pelicans in the last 12 minutes. Having a lead of 11 points going into the last quarter, the Pelicans had scored a resounding 102 points tally in 36 minutes.
The lead evaporated in four minutes. Not even four minutes later, the Suns were up double digits. When the final horn sounded, the Suns joyously walked off the court with a 132-114 win while the Pelicans headed to their locker room in a daze, trying to figure out what just transpired.
New Orleans Pelicans collapse in historical manner against Phoenix Suns in 4th quarter
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 18-point defeat was the largest in the NBA in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) for a team that entered the fourth quarter up double digits.
“Man is orchestrating out there. He knows what’s going on on the floor before it even happens,” Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker spoke as per ESPN. “With him, the game is never out of reach. The game is never over until the horn sounds. He did a good job of leading us, keeping our composure throughout the whole game.
“In that fourth quarter, it’s a work of art. The way he was picking apart their defense and making plays for others and at the same time scoring when he had to.”
Aside from the barrage of 3-pointers Phoenix was sending New Orleans’ way, the Pelicans got sloppy with the basketball as well. After committing just seven turnovers in the first three quarters, the Pelicans coughed it up six times in the first six minutes, leading to 12 Phoenix points.
It’s a problem that has plagued New Orleans this season. With Friday’s loss, New Orleans falls to 12-9 this season in games where they’ve had a double-digit lead. That’s the most losses in the NBA when leading by double digits this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information research.