Suns slip down stretch in loss to Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis capped his 34-point night with a key rebound and six free throws in the final half-minute, Jrue Holiday scored five of his 30 points in the last minute and a half, and the New Orleans Pelicans ended a four-game slide with a 111-106 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday.
E’Twaun Moore scored 12 points for the Pelicans, who led by as many as 10 in the first half but found themselves behind for much of the fourth quarter until Davis and Holiday took over late.
T.J. Warren scored 20 points for the Suns, while Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe and Leandro Barbosa each added 14 points. Tyson Chandler had 12 rebounds and 11 points for Phoenix, which dropped its second straight.
Davis blocked five shots and grabbed nine rebounds, none bigger than when he corralled Warren’s miss amid a crowd of players in the paint. After Davis was fouled by P.J. Tucker, he nodded emphatically while screaming, “Yeah,” and the crowd fed off of his intensity, erupting with applause.
Davis only attempted two 3s, but hit one in the middle of the fourth quarter, when New Orleans trailed by four.
After scoring only eight and 17 fourth-quarter points in its previous two games — both losses — New Orleans again looked flat entering the last 12 minutes against Phoenix.
New Orleans did not score during the first three-and-a-half minutes of the fourth. Moore’s short floater ended the drought and tied it at 79.
The Pelicans trailed for most of the quarter, but went on a late 8-2 run, capped by Holiday’s spinning dribble drive and finger roll for a 102-101 lead with 1:24 to go.
Bledsoe’s free throws briefly put Phoenix back in front, but Holiday’s third 3 of the game made it 105-103 New Orleans with 1:04 left, and the Pelicans led from then on.
Suns: Shot 18.5 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. Booker missed seven of eight. … Booker was assessed a technical foul after yelling at officials for not calling a foul after his fast-break layup attempt had been swatted over the baseline by Davis. … G Ronnie Price began a second 10-day contract and was activated for the game, while Derrick Jones Jr. was inactive. Price did not play.
Pelicans: G Tyreke Evans left with a left ankle sprain in the second quarter. He did not score and had four rebounds in nine minutes. … C Alexis Ajinca did not play for a 12th straight game. Before tip-off, the 7-foot-2 Frenchman, now in his ninth NBA season, said he would favor a trade to a team that would play him more. In the meantime, he said, he is staying in shape and supporting his teammates. The trade deadline is Feb. 23. … F-C Terrence Jones fouled out with 10 minutes to go and was replaced at that point by Davis, who wound up playing 40:29.
Suns: Visit Memphis on Wednesday night.