Pelicans continue surprising playoff push - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pelicans continue surprising playoff push

Pelicans forward Anthony Davis celebrates after scoring against Phoenix (WLOX Sports) Pelicans forward Anthony Davis celebrates after scoring against Phoenix (WLOX Sports)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) -

Anthony Davis has seen the Smoothie King Center get rowdy in the past, but in recent weeks, the celebrations seem to mean a little bit more. 

"We've had stretches where we played well," Davis said. "(But) I think that right now, everybody's playing their part. Everybody's doing it together, I think that's what makes it so special. And then, we're doing it without one of our main guys, so it makes it more special." 

When DeMarcus Cousins went down for the season with a torn Achilles, many wrote off New Orleans from the Western Conference playoff race. Instead, the Pels are still firmly in the mix, winning their seventh straight after beating the Spurs 121-116, their longest winning streak since 2011.

"I just think we're playing hard," head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We're competing and we're playing together, and to me that's the main thing right there. What we have to do is just try to continue to get a little better and play with the intensity level that we're playing with and the unselfishness we're playing with." 

They're doing so largely thanks to their franchise player. Davis, the five-time All-Star, is forcing himself into the MVP conversation, dropping a season-high 53 points in a win against Phoenix on Monday.

"He's dominating on both ends," Gentry said. "He's carrying the load offensively, rebounding the basketball. He's just playing really good basketball."

With the possibility of getting home-court advantage - or not even making the playoffs - being only separated by a few games in the standings, the Pelicans refuse to get complacent with their recent success. 

"What we want to be is where Houston is, okay?" Gentry joked referring to the Rockets, who currently lead the Western Conference standings. "That's where would want to be."

"That's how we're playing," Davis said of their playoff push. "We're not worrying about anything else. Just taking it a game at a time, just trying to make our way up the ladder."

The Pelicans look to make it eight straight wins on Sunday as they visit the Dallas Mavericks. A playoff berth would mark the first for the franchise since 2015. 

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