January 04, 2015

The chances of the lowly New Orleans Pelicans snapping their lengthy skid against Washington wouldn't appear to be too encouraging, but they'll likely face a depleted Wizards frontcourt Friday night.

Washington could have as many as three of its big men missing as it attempts to earn an eighth consecutive win against the Pelicans, who might get center Kendrick Perkins back on the floor.

The Pelicans (5-16) are firmly cemented in last place in the Southwest Division and ahead of just one team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers. They didn't aid their chances of moving out of either position when they couldn't build on a 114-108 overtime win against Central Division-leading Cleveland last Friday.

Anthony Davis was limited to 16 points and six rebounds while dealing with some early foul trouble in a 111-93 loss to visiting Boston on Monday. The rest of New Orleans' starters combined for 11 points with guards Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon each held scoreless.

The Pelicans allowed an opponent to reach triple digits for the eighth straight game and 19th time this season. The Wizards (9-11) have also struggled to contain teams lately, allowing an average of 108.4 points in the last five games, but have topped 100 in each of those while going 2-3.

They earned back-to-back road wins for the second time with a 114-103 victory against Miami on Monday but fell 109-103 to visiting Houston on Wednesday.

The Wizards got center Marcin Gortat back after a three-game absence because of a family emergency in Poland, and he tied a season high with 18 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. However, Nene (calf), Kris Humphries (ankle) and Drew Gooden (calf) sat out.

"We gave up too many (3-pointers) and too many uncontested ones. We had too many turnovers (18). The way we started the game, we dug ourselves a hole. We fought back and gave ourselves a chance," point guard John Wall said. "We've got to do a better job with starting games."

Humphries is questionable for the opener of a four-game trip while Nene and Gooden are expected to remain on the bench. That could make it difficult on Washington when facing Davis and potentially Perkins.

Davis is averaging 25.7 points on 64.6 percent shooting and 11.3 rebounds in his last three games against the Wizards.

Perkins has been out since Oct. 31 because of an injured right pectoral muscle. He appeared in three games for New Orleans following an offseason deal.

"I'm trying to play Friday and be ready whenever my number is called," he said. "Hopefully I can be available and get back to wearing a jersey instead of suits."

Washington's Ramon Sessions is averaging 17.7 points in his last three games against New Orleans, his best showing versus any opponent in the past three seasons. He's averaging 12.0 points on 67.9 percent shooting in the last four games after averaging 7.5 points and shooting 38.9 percent in his first 16.

Bradley Beal has been held to 9.7 points on 35.3 percent shooting in the past three matchups with the Pelicans, and Wall is averaging 12.0 points on 39.5 percent shooting in his last three.

New Orleans has lost four in a row in the series at home since a 97-89 win Feb. 1, 2011.

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