New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado had the best game of his young career against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon, and he made some franchise history in the process. Alvarado came off the bench for New Orleans in the contest, and he provided the team with an enormous spark. In 27 minutes of action, Alvarado scored 38 points while shooting 12 of 19 from the floor. He also added three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
The 38 points were a career high for Alvarado. They were also the most scored by a bench player in Pelicans franchise history and the most scored by an undrafted player in franchise history, per Pelicans PR. Alvarado’s production was a big part of the reason why New Orleans was able to pull out a 121-106 victory over reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, despite the fact they were without starters Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones.
Check out some highlights from Alvarado’s career night below:
Alvarado’s 38-point explosion was somewhat surprising, given the fact that he’s not necessarily known as a big-time scorer. In fact, he revealed it might have been the highest-scoring game of his entire basketball career.
“I’m not a go out there and score big (player),” Alvarado said after the game. “But today, my teammates found me. I knocked down shots. I think it had been a very long time since I had 38. I don’t know if I’ve ever had 38 now that I’m thinking about it.”
Zion Williamson called Alvarado the Pelicans’ “X-factor” after the game, and following his performance against Denver, it’s easy to understand why. In addition to providing energy and tenacity off of the bench, Alvarado is also clearly capable of contributing in a big way on the offensive end. It will be interesting to see if his big game propels him to be more aggressive on that end of the floor moving forward.