Hill’s 23 points, 18 from Davis lead Pelicans past Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Solomon Hill scored a season-high 23 points and Anthony Davis added 18, including a key basket with 38.8 seconds left that helped the New Orleans Pelicans hold off the Memphis Grizzlies 95-91 on Wednesday night.
The Pelicans built an 18-point lead and cruised through the first three quarters. But they had to stem a fourth-quarter rally that pulled the Grizzlies to 92-91 on Vince Carter’s 3-pointer with 48.5 seconds left.
Davis then connected on a 23-foot jumper, and the Pelicans hung on for their third victory in four games. Mike Conley’s 3-point attempt with 4.8 seconds remaining was short, ending Memphis’ final hope.
Jrue Holiday had 19 points and seven assists for New Orleans, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Grizzlies. Alexis Ajinca added 12 points and a season-high 10 rebounds.
Conley led the Grizzlies with 17 points, and Zach Randolph had 16. Marc Gasol finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, but Memphis was limited to 37 percent shooting — including 6 of 33 from outside the arc.
The Grizzlies committed 15 turnovers that led to 14 New Orleans points, only adding to their problems.
Memphis trailed by 18 in the third quarter and 15 entering the fourth. But the Grizzlies clicked off the first nine points of the final period and ran off a 22-7 spurt, trimming New Orleans’ lead to 84-83 with just more than four minutes remaining.
Consecutive baskets by the Pelicans — a 3-pointer from Hill and a 15-footer by Davis — provided a bit of a cushion.
Conley and Carter connected on 3s that left Memphis trailing 92-91 with 48 seconds to go.
The Pelicans opened an 11-point advantage in the first half by getting to the rim for easy baskets. Memphis defenders seemed unwilling to pressure the Pelicans or divert their drives through the lane.
Memphis also struggled controlling the ball, committing nine turnovers in the half.
Those shortcomings, coupled with 14 points from Hill, helped New Orleans hold a 50-43 lead at halftime.
New Orleans continued to get open shots from all over the floor after halftime, extending the lead to 18. Memphis had few answers and shot only 36 percent through three quarters.
Pelicans: New Orleans’ previous win over Memphis was on March 3, 2015. . Terrence Jones (right thumb sprain), Quincy Pondexter (left knee) and Dante Cunningham (personal reasons) were unavailable. . Davis has reached double figures in the first quarter 23 times this season, but had only four points in the opening period Wednesday night. . Hill’s previous high this season was 18 points against Milwaukee on Nov. 1. . Ajinca also had three steals and two blocks.
Grizzlies: In the third quarter, Randolph passed Steve Nash for 81st on the career scoring list. . On a 3-pointer with 1:49 left, Conley passed Mike Miller for most 3s in franchise history with 845.
NOT THIS TIME
The teams had gone to overtime the last three times they faced each other, including double overtime on Dec. 5. Memphis won all three of those games, including 110-108 on Dec. 5
Pelicans: Return from the All-Star break Feb. 23 at home against Houston.
Grizzlies: At the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 24.
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