NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Will Barton scored 25 points, including the tying 3-pointer late in the first overtime, and the undermanned Denver Nuggets won their fourth straight, 118-111 over the New Orleans Pelicans in double overtime Sunday night.
Kenneth Faried had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Denver. Danilo Gallinari added 17 points, including a 3 that gave the Nuggets a 114-109 lead with 1:30 left in the second overtime.
Ty Lawson added 19 points and Jameer Nelson 18 for Denver, which won even as coach Melvin Hunt chose to rest three regulars — Wilson Chandler, Randy Foye and Darrell Arthur — so the team could get a better look at some younger players.
Anthony Davis had 36 points, 14 rebounds, nine blocks and a career-high seven assists for New Orleans, which fell a game behind Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Tyreke Evans, returning from a sprained left ankle, had 25 points and 10 assists for New Orleans, while Eric Gordon added 16 points, including a clutch 3 late in regulation and a driving floater late in the first overtime, the latter giving the Pelicans a three-point lead with 14 seconds left in the first overtime.
But Barton had an answer from 3 with 8.6 seconds left, and Evans missed a contested, close-range shot that could have won it at the end of the extra session.
By the time the second overtime began, Davis had played 46 minutes and it showed as he missed the first two jumpers he took. Gordon also missed three shots as the Pelicans failed to score on their first five possession of the final extra period.
Evans’ driving layup made it 114-111 with 1:19 left, but that was as close as the Pelicans got.
Trailing by three at halftime, New Orleans opened the third quarter on a 15-2 run. Davis hit a 17-foot jumper and converted his second alley-oop of the game during the surge, and the Pelicans led 62-52 on Asik’s tip-in.
Yet Denver declined to fold and regained the lead at 89-87 when Lawson stole the ball from Evans to set up his breakaway lay-up with 5:34 to go.
After Gordon’s late 3, the Pelicans had 2-point leads three times inside the last minute, but driving layups by Faried, Nelson and then Faried again tied it each time, and Davis missed a 20-footer for the win as regulation ended.
The Pelicans led most of the first half, when Davis had 13 of his points, highlighted by his rejection of Barton’s short jumper, which led directly to Davis’ soaring two-handed jam of Norris Cole’s long alley-oop lob.
Davis’ exploits sent the crowd into a frenzy, but the Nuggets remain composed, shooting 51.2 percent (21 of 41) for the half and taking a 50-47 lead into halftime.
Nuggets: The game was a homecoming of sorts for Hunt, who grew up in the small town of Tallulah, in northeast Louisiana. … Denver improved to 6-2 under Hunt, who took over when Brian Shaw was fired after the last time the Nuggets played New Orleans. … The Nuggets had won two of the first three meetings. … The Nuggets hit 10 3s while winning only their 10th road game.
Pelicans: New Orleans fell to 22-12 at home. … The Pelicans shot 46.5 percent (46 of 99) overall, but were only 6 of 22 from 3-point range.
Nuggets: Visit Memphis on Monday night.
Pelicans: Host Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
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