Anthony Davis lead Pelicans past Suns, 120-114
PHOENIX (AP) Anthony Davis crashed to the floor going for a rebound of a missed shot in the closing seconds of the New Orleans Pelicans' game against the Phoenix Suns game. It was a hard fall.
Davis got back to his feet and finished the game, his tip-in with 20.6 seconds left having already put the Pelicans on track for a 120-114 victory Wednesday night. He had 26 points and 17 rebounds.
''It's a physical game. It's just basketball,'' Davis said.
New Orleans finished strong with four free throws from Jrue Holiday for its third straight victory - and first on the road - after starting the season 1-11. The Pelicans trailed by as many as 17 points before rallying to beat the Suns for the second time in four days.
''We just buckled down on defense knowing that they had a lot of great looks in the first half,'' Davis said. ''We're playing for each other, playing together, sharing the ball. And when you do that and play hard, it's tough for a team to beat you.''
After Davis's go-ahead bucket, Holiday hit a pair of free throws with 14.5 seconds to give the Pelicans a 116-112 lead and the Suns cut it to two on free throws by Brandon Knight, but Holiday made two more free throws to seal the win in the game that had eight lead changes and eight ties in the fourth quarter.
Eric Gordon had 23 points for New Orleans, former Sun Ish Smith added 20 points and 11 assists, Ryan Anderson also had 20 points, and Holiday finished with 19.
Knight scored 29 points, 20 in the first quarter, and had 10 assists. Leuer added 20 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, and 12 rebounds, and Eric Bledsoe and T.J. Warren each had 18 points.
The Suns, who lost at New Orleans on Sunday night, dropped their third straight to fall to 7-8.
The Pelicans didn't score for the first 3-plus minutes of the game. Knight's third 3-pointer of the quarter gave the Suns a 37-23 lead with 42 seconds left.
''I didn't think we had the intensity we needed to start the game,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ''The good thing about it is we regrouped and played well the rest of the way.''
The Suns had their second-highest point total in a quarter this season with 39 in the first, but the Pelicans whittled a 17-point deficit in the second quarter to two with Smith's 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer.
The Pelicans finished the second quarter on a 13-4 run.
''We gave them three 30-point quarters,'' Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. ''Usually we say if you give up two it's a loss. It's a long game and we didn't put our foot on the gas. I thought our guys just relaxed and we gave them the confidence.''
The Pelicans hit four of their first six shots in the third quarter and led by as many as six points.
But the Suns fought back, scoring nine unanswered points to turn a 72-66 deficit into a 75-72 lead. The last basket of the run came when Bledsoe delivered a no-look bounce pass to Warren for a layup with 4:10 to go in the third. The Pelicans led 88-85 going into the fourth quarter.
PELICANS: G-F Tyreke Evans' right knee is still bothering him, enough for Gentry to not play him Wednesday night. G Norris Cole (left ankle sprain) also did not play. ... Gentry was the Suns' head coach for three full seasons from 2009 through 2012, before being replaced during the 2012-2013 season. He received warm applause when introduced before the game.
SUNS: C Tyson Chandler was held out due to an upper respiratory infection, his first missed game of the season. Alex Len replaced him in the starting lineup. ... Phoenix signed free-agent G Bryce Cotton before the game, but he wasn't active. The former Tucson prep star averaged 22 points in four games this season for Austin in the D-League. ... Knight took to a microphone to wish a happy Thanksgiving to the crowd before tipoff. ... Bledsoe returned after missing a game with a knee injury.
MARK OF MORRIS
Suns forward Markieff Morris struggled through a 4-for-11 shooting night, but he did have the block of the game when he leaped to swat away Dante Cunningham's dunk attempt in the second quarter.
Pelicans: At L.A. Clippers Friday night.
Suns: Host Golden State Friday night.