Pelicans host Clippers aiming to keep winning ways

The New Orleans Pelicans are trying to put together a winning stretch.

The Los Angeles Clippers have been on one for a while.

The Pelicans have won two of their last three games after losing four in a row before that. They won at Charlotte 119-109 on Sunday and hope to build on that game when they host the Clippers on Monday.

Even though Los Angeles lost at Dallas, 114-110, on Sunday, it had won nine of its last 10 games before that and it is tied with Denver for the best record in the Western Conference (15-7).

The Pelicans had struggled with slow starts, falling behind the Heat by 31 points in the first half of a road loss Friday. Two days later they took the lead for good early in the second quarter against the Hornets.

“We just got out to a good start,” Pelicans forward Anthony Davis said told the team’s website. “We’ve been getting off to slow starts and that’s on our starters on both ends of the floor, so I just tried to be aggressive whether that’s for me or my teammates, and I just hope other guys follow, and they did.

“It was good for us, good to get a win especially on the road and then going back home against three opponents is tough.”

The Pelicans host Dallas on Wednesday and Memphis on Friday.

Davis had 36 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists against Charlotte.

“(Davis) did a great job of taking what was available,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told the team website. “And if they’re going to double-team him or you know even try to triple team him some, he’s always been a willing passer. So he’s going to pass the ball and he’s going to make the right play.”

Jrue Holiday added 19 points, Nikola Mirotic scored 16 and Darius Miller and Julius Randle came off the bench to score 13 each.

New Orleans forward E’Twaun Moore missed the game because of a left tibial contusion suffered in Miami. He’s listed as day to day.

Davis scored 17 points in the first quarter, but Charlotte led 30-29 lead at the end of the period before the Pelicans turned up their defense.

“We started the game the right way,” Gentry said. “We weren’t playing uphill the entire game. So I thought we did a good job the first quarter. Even though we gave up thirty points I thought defensively we were pretty solid. And then from that point I thought we did a good job defending.”

The Clippers got off to a fast start offensively against the Mavericks, leading 35-34 after the first quarter.

Los Angeles trailed by eight entering the fourth quarter, but fought back. Lou Williams‘ 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 110-109 lead with 48 seconds left but they didn’t score again.

“It was a game we should have won,” Williams said told NBA.com. “We didn’t do a lot of things in our style of play.”

The Clippers have scored 100 or more points in all but one game this season – a season-opening 107-98 loss to Denver.

Davis had 34 points and 12 rebounds as the Pelicans defeated the Clippers 116-109 on Oct. 23 in New Orleans.