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Pelicans beat Kings 101-95, gain ground in playoff race

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Eric Gordon scored 21 points, Tyreke Evans nearly had a triple-double and the New Orleans Pelicans gained ground in the playoff race by outlasting the short-handed Sacramento Kings 101-95 on Friday night.

Evans finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists against his former team to power the Pelicans to their fourth straight win. New Orleans led by 18 points in the third quarter and withstood a furious rally from DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings for a huge road victory.

The Pelicans (41-34) pulled within a half-game of Oklahoma City (42-34) for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder lost at Memphis earlier Friday night.

Sacramento dropped its fourth game in a row despite Cousins’ second consecutive triple-double. The All-Star center had 24 points, 20 rebounds and a career-high 13 assists. He also blocked four shots.

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