Davis, Holiday lift Pelicans past Blazers
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 38 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, Jrue Holiday added 21 points in his first action this season, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 113-101 on Friday night.
Holiday made his season debut after missing the first 12 games to care for his wife, retired soccer star Lauren Holiday, who had brain surgery last month only weeks after giving birth to the couple's first child.
Terrence Jones added 15 points, and Tim Frazier had 12 for the Pelicans. They've won three of five after an 0-8 start.
Damian Lillard scored 27 points, and CJ McCollum 24 had for Portland, which has lost three straight. Mason Plumlee added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who never got closer than eight points in the second half.
The crowd bellowed, “Jruuuuue!” as Holiday checked in, wearing goggles as a precaution after missing the last nine games of last season because of an inadvertent elbow he took to the head, fracturing his orbital eye wall.
Holiday wasted no time getting involved. He assisted on Jones' layup the first time he handled the ball on the offensive end.
Within four minutes on the court, Holiday scored five points to go with a rebound and assists, and even had a block on Noah Vonleh's dunk attempt. He wound up playing just more than 23 minutes hitting an array of jumpers, including a 3, as well as driving floaters and layups. He finished with seven assists, none more crowd-pleasing than his crisp bounce-pass to a cutting Davis, who finished the play with a thunderous two-handed dunk.
Davis was making shots from all over the court, hitting a pair of 3s to go with usual leaners, floaters, layups and mid-range jumpers.
The Pelicans made their first significant push in the final three minutes of the first half. Portland was down 51-47 after Plumlee's 16-foot jumper, but Davis responded with a 16-footer of his own that sparked a 13-4 run to close out the half. Davis added six more points during the sport, hitting a jumper, floater and spinning a reverse layup off the glass with McCollum climbing on his shoulders. Davis also rejected his third Lillard shot of the half, and New Orleans led 64-51 as the horn sounded to end the second quarter.
New Orleans built the lead up to 20 in the fourth quarter and cruised to the finished.
Trail Blazers: Ed Davis had 11 rebounds. Maurice Harkless scored 10 points, but went 2 of 7 from 3-point range. … Lillard fell three points short of scoring 30 for the third time in three games against New Orleans. … Portland has scored 100 or more points in 12 of its first 14 games. … The Blazers, which lost 126-109 in Houston on Thursday night, dropped to 3-4 on the road.
Pelicans: Alvin Gentry reached his 800th career game as an NBA head coach. … New Orleans entered the game ranked last in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 29.1 percent (82 of 282), but shot 37.5 percent (9 of 24) against Portland. … New Orleans won its second straight home game after starting 0-5 on its own floor. … Center Alexis Ajinca sat out with a sore left shoulder.
Trail Blazers: Visit Brooklyn on Sunday.
Pelicans: Host Charlotte on Saturday night.