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Don’t look now, but it appears the New Orleans Pelicans may have found their point man to facilitate their Twin Towers climbing to even greater heights, if what happened Wednesday night against visiting Brooklyn is any evidence.
Oft-traveled veteran point guard Rajon Rondo set a franchise record and career-high in handing out 25 assists in only 30 minutes of playing time in the Pelicans’ 128-113 romp over the Nets.
New Orleans’ Twin Towers of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins were the “big” beneficiaries of Rondo’s record-setting night.
Davis had 33 points, 11 rebounds and rejected six shots, while Cousins had 27 points and 14 boards as New Orleans built leads of 16 points in the first quarter, 23 in the second and 33 in the third.
Rondo was quick to say the big-picture of the Pelicans’ performance is what’s most important.
“The No. 1 thing is we got the win,” he told reporters after the victory. “And then me, personally, I love passing the ball.
“I’ve been blessed to play with a lot of great players, and what I take pride in is making those guys’ jobs easier.”
Guard Jrue Holiday was another beneficiary of Rondo’s big night, scoring 23 points, while E’Twaun Moore had 20 points as the Pelicans made it three consecutive victories, all by 14 points or more.
Apparently, Rondo’s unselfishness was contagious for New Orleans (18-16). The Pelicans set a franchise record with 40 assists on 48 made buckets.
“That speaks for itself,” Rondo said. “It wasn’t just me.
“The ball was hopping, and we were making plays for one another.”
Including some that were of the flamboyant type, according to Cousins.
“(The Pelicans) looked like the Harlem Globetrotters at one point,” Cousins said. “It’s fun to play that way.”
Rondo, who missed the beginning of the season because of an abdominal injury, surpassed Chris Paul’s former team record of 21 assists. His 25th and final dime set a new personal high-water mark.
He is the only active player with as many as 25 assists in a game and one of only 12 players in NBA history to reach that level. Scott Skiles, Kevin Porter, Bob Cousy, Guy Rodgers, John Stockton, Geoff Huston, Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson, Nate McMillan, Isiah Thomas and Ernie DiGregorio preceded Rondo in the 25-assist club.
“It’s definitely an honor to be mentioned with those guys, especially with passing the ball, which I take pride in,” Rondo said. “But I couldn’t have done it without my teammates making shots, so I’ve got to give those guys the credit.”
Caris LeVert led Brooklyn (12-22) with 22 points, while Nik Stauskas added 21, Quincy Avery 18 and Rondae Hollis–Jefferson 15.