Davis powers Pelicans past Celtics in overtime
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis set career highs with 40 points and 21 rebounds, and Eric Gordon made two crucial free throws in overtime to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 121-120 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.
Tyreke Evans added 26 points and Gordon had 19 for the Pelicans, who had lost two consecutive games. Gordon’s foul shots with 9.4 seconds remaining gave the Pelicans a 121-117 lead.
Davis did not score in overtime but controlled the middle by grabbing six rebounds. He became the first player in franchise history to have at least 40 points and 20 rebounds in the same game.
His previous high for points was Friday night when he scored 36 in a loss against Portland. Davis’ 21 rebounds erased his previous career high of 19 against Orlando on Jan. 26.
Jeff Green scored 39 points, including three big free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation, but Boston lost its fourth consecutive game.
Kris Humphries scored 16 points for the Celtics, including a long jumper to send the game into overtime. Jared Sullinger added 14 points and Avery Bradley had 12.
Davis’ jumper with 1.7 seconds remaining in regulation lifted the Pelicans to a 112-110 lead. But Humphries responded with a fadeaway from deep in the right corner.
Green answered Gordon’s free throws in overtime with a three-point play that trimmed New Orleans’ lead to 121-120 with 5.7 seconds. But the Celtics were unable to foul on the inbounds play and New Orleans ran out the clock.
Evans’ layup with 5:33 remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Pelicans a 102-89 lead. Boston then closed with a 23-10 surge to force the extra period.
The Celtics, who attempted to push the pace against the defensive-minded Pelicans, closed the first half on a 17-8 run to take a 64-57 halftime lead.
Green had 20 points at the break. He had a tying dunk with 4:11 left and a 3-pointer with 2:35 remaining, giving Boston a 54-49 lead.
Bradley, who opened the second quarter by scoring four consecutive points, had eight points at the break.
Davis’ 14 first-half points led to the Pelicans outscoring Boston 38-26 in the paint.