Former University of Kentucky and Mason County High School star Darius Miller scored a career-high 21 points, including what proved to be the game-winner, in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 106-105 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.
“We know that he can shoot the ball, that’s one of the reasons we brought him in,” Coach Alvin Gentry said afterward. “I thought he did a really good job of using the screens and getting himself open. … He put himself in a good position to catch it and shoot it, and that’s one of his strong suits.”
Miller’s final three-pointer came when he ended up with the ball after it was knocked away from teammate Jrue Holiday.
“That was lucky, man,” Miller said. “That was lucky. I don’t know how it got to me. I was ready to shoot it. Another open look. Wide open. It was pure luck, really.”
Miller was 8-for-11 from the field and 5-for-8 from three-point range. Four of those came in the fourth quarter. He credited the inside presence of teammates Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins for him getting so many good looks.
“Those guys demand so much attention,” Miller said. “If you look at most of my shots, they were wide open. I’m finally in a rhythm to knock them down. Hopefully, it continues.”
Miller’s previous career high for scoring was 18 points on April 11, 2014, against the Oklahoma City Thunder during his first stint with New Orleans.
He has been on a roll the past six games for the Pelicans, who are 5-1 in that span. He has averaged 10.8 points and shot 58.6 percent (17-for-29) from three-point range in that span.
All of that came after he started the season 2-for-15 from three-point range.
More ex-Cats stats
▪ DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Anthony Davis added 13 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and four blocks.
▪ Rajon Rondo also made his Pelicans debut. He had two points and two assists in 4:56. He was expected to play no more than six minutes in first game back from injury.