Pelicans hold close in loss to Knicks
FEB 20, 2014 12:02a ET
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Carmelo Anthony capped a 42-point performance with three clutch baskets in the last two minutes, and the New York Knicks snapped a three-game skid with a 98-91 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.
A night after losing at Memphis, New York blew a 13-point, fourth-quarter lead before Anthony, coming off a 30-point outing in the All-Star game in the same arena Sunday, took over by hitting a pair of pull-up jumpers from the left side of the lane. He hit the first of them over Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, who blocked five shots in the game, and the second over Luke Babbitt.
Eric Gordon scored 28 for the Pelicans, but was shut out in the fourth quarter. Davis had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Austin Rivers finished with 14 points and Brian Roberts 10 for the Pelicans, who've lost three of four.
The see-saw game included 16 lead changes and six ties.
New York appeared to be seizing control late in the third quarter, which the Knicks closed with an 8-2 run that included two jumpers by Anthony, Hardaway's breakaway dunk set up by Raymond Felton's block of Rivers, and Chandler's one-handed alley-oop finish over Davis.
Smith then hit a 3 and driving layup to open the fourth quarter, giving New York its largest lead at 83-70.
But the unlikely combination of Rivers, Babbitt and Roberts helped New Orleans storm back.
Rivers hit a driving layup and a 3. Babbitt added a 3 and driving layup to cap an 11-2 spurt.
Later, Babbitt's turnaround and Roberts' two consecutive driving floaters vaulted New Orleans back into the lead at 89-88 with 3:58 to go, setting the stage for Anthony's resounding finish.
Anthony and Gordon wasted little time working their way into double digit points, dueling throughout a tight first half in which neither team led by more than six points.
Anthony scored 18 points in the opening two periods and Gordon 17. New York led by only a basket after Rivers' pull-up jumper late in the second quarter, but Hardaway hit a 3 and Anthony added a free throw to make it 53-47 at halftime.
Notes: Knicks F-C Amare Stoudemire sat out with left knee soreness. ... The Knicks said Shumpert would return to New York for further evaluation. He tore the ACL in the same knee in 2012 as a rookie. ... Each of New Orleans' last three losses have come against Eastern Conference teams. The Pelicans' next two games are on the road against East clubs Charlotte on Friday and Washington on Saturday.