Anthony Davis scores 45, leads Pelicans past Timberwolves
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 45 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans won their fourth straight game, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-96 on Wednesday night.
Terrence Jones scored 17 points for New Orleans, which trailed early in the second half before Davis scored eight points during a 13-2 run that gave the Pelicans the lead for good.
New Orleans led by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter and cruised to its sixth victory in eight games. E'Twaun Moore added 12 points, and Tim Frazier had 11.
Zach LaVine scored 26 for the Timberwolves, who've dropped three straight games. Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng each had 13 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns grabbed 11 rebounds.
Davis was 17-of-27 shooting in his third games this season with 40-plus points.
Wiggins, by contrast, was 2 for 19. Minnesota struggled with shooting as a team, hitting only 38 percent (33 of 86). New Orleans shot 54 percent (45 of 83).
The game featured a pair of dominant former Kentucky big men in Davis and Towns, but it was the Pelicans who owned the paint, where New Orleans outscored Minnesota 66-44. The Pelicans also outrebounded the Wolves, 45-41.
Davis' dynamism was exemplified by the ways he scored during the Pelicans' pivotal run early in the second half. He started the surge with a 21-foot jumper, added a 3 pointer, and then completed a fast-break by rolling in an off-balance scoop as he was fouled by Wiggins. After the layup, he took a couple steps toward the charged-up crowd and exchanged a congratulatory five with Arcade Fire singer Win Butler, who was sitting along the baseline.
Davis added a second 3 and a finger-roll off of a pass from Frazier during a 15-0 run that made it 83-61. Minnesota never threatened again.
The first half featured considerable swings in momentum.
Davis had 12 points in the first seven minutes, including a 12-foot jumper that gave New Orleans a 21-9 lead.
But the Timberwolves closed the gap late in the third quarter and surged in front in the second period with a 11-0 run capped by Dieng's foul-line jumper as he was fouled by Omer Asik, putting Minnesota up 46-38.
New Orleans, however, closed the half on a 10-0 run during which Jones hit two free throws and dunked twice — once on a put-back of Davis' miss — to put the Pelicans back in front, 53-50.
Timberwolves: The Timberwolves opened a three-game road trip by dropping to 1-6 on the road this season. … Minnesota shot 3 of 17 from 3-point range. … Because the game in New Orleans marked the beginning of road trip spanning four nights, the Wolves were slated to spend Wednesday night in New Orleans before traveling on Thanksgiving Day.
Pelicans: The Pelicans are now 4-0 since Jure Holiday's return. He began the game wearing protective goggles, an experiment he began this season because of an orbital eye wall fracture late last season. He missed four of his first five shots and took the goggles off when he checked back into the game late in the third quarter. He made one of his final three shots and finished with seven points and eight assists. … F Dante Cunningham left the game early in the second quarter. Team officials said he had a left knee injury. It did not appear serious. He returned to the bench but did not return to the game.
Timberwolves: Visit Phoenix on Friday night.
Pelicans: Visit Portland on Friday night.