NEW YORK (AP) — Alexis Ajinca and Quincy Pondexter each scored 17 points and the New Orleans Pelicans moved within percentage points of eighth place in the Western Conference by beating the Brooklyn Nets 111-91 on Tuesday night.
Omer Asik had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans in their third straight victory. Anthony Davis scored 15 points, a night after tying his career high with 43 in a win at Milwaukee.
Brook Lopez had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Nets, who broke to an early 14-point lead before losing their fourth straight.
Ajinca had 11 points during a four-minute stretch of the second quarter as the Pelicans took a 55-46 lead into halftime. They are 2 percentage points behind Oklahoma City for the West’s final playoff spot.
New Orleans extended the lead to 78-61 by the end of the third quarter as Asik and Davis dominated Brooklyn’s frontcourt. The pair combined for 13 of New Orleans’ 23 points in the third.
Pondexter had 14 points in the fourth.
Davis was hit in the face and returned to the locker room to be checked out early in the period. By the time he was cleared to return, the Pelicans were well ahead and didn’t need him.
The Nets lost Alan Anderson, Markel Brown and Sergey Karasev to injuries in the finale of a five-game homestand in which they went 1-4.
Brooklyn fell three games out of the final playoff spot and into 11th in the East.
Pelicans: Coach Monty Williams compared Davis to some elite company. “Tracy McGrady was probably the most talented guy I played with and AD is like Tracy,” he said. “They can do pretty much anything on the floor. Grant (Hill) was like that. Allen Iverson was like that. They’re just off-the-chart talented, so you never put a ceiling on those guys because they can do anything on any given night on both ends. AD is not like anybody I’ve ever seen. That’s why I’m not frustrated, but I just kind of laugh at the MVP stuff. The guy dominates on both ends of the floor and we only talk about guys who are dominating on one end of the floor so it’s tough for me to listen to all that when I’ve got a guy who absolutely dominates on both ends.”
Nets: Anderson left the game with a bruised tailbone. Brown turned his right ankle. Karasev sprained his right knee and will undergo further tests Wednesday.
Pelicans: Hosts Denver on Sunday.
Nets: Visits Miami on Wednesday.
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