Suns can't get one stop, one basket needed to overcome Pelicans
PHOENIX -- The New Orleans Pelicans played the Phoenix Suns, so of course the game went down to the wire.
Anthony Davis scored six consecutive New Orleans points, including the go-ahead rebound basket with 40.3 seconds to play, and the Pelicans escaped with a 110-108 victory Monday night.
New Orleans won the exceedingly close season series 3-1. Two games were one-pointers in overtime, the other a five-point Pelicans win.
"They have all been like this," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said.
The Suns missed three shots close to the rim in the final seconds, one by Eric Bledsoe and two by P.J. Tucker.
"Amazing hustle, amazing play," Phoenix coach Earl Watson said of Tucker's final two rebound attempts. "I thought the last possession, I thought he got fouled twice, but I'm not the referee. ... He (Tucker) kept the ball in play, he gave us fight all the way to the end."
Gentry inserted Solomon Hill into the lineup to help defend Bledsoe late in the game, but there was a pack of Pelicans under the basket on the final flurry.
"We were trying to stop Eric Bledsoe from getting to the paint," Davis said. "He got in there but we defended without fouling and he missed and at that point it was just a battle."
Davis scored 24 points, four below his season average. Jrue Holiday added 18, and Tyreke Evans and E'Twaun Moore had 15 apiece for the Pelicans, playing one night after losing in Sacramento.
"In the fourth quarter, we just grinded out the win," said Davis, an All-Star Game starter. "Tyreke is playing well. He made some big plays for us down the stretch."
Bledsoe scored 37 points, the last on a 3-pointer that put Phoenix ahead 108-107 with 1:12 to go. But the Suns never scored again.
Davis grabbed the rebound on Evans' missed layup in traffic and floated in a hook. Evans made one of two free throws, and New Orleans held on from there
Devin Booker added 21 points for the Suns, who have lost 10 of 12. Tucker had 16 rebounds.
There were 15 lead changes in the first half, the last when Phoenix erased a 44-42 deficit with a 14-0 run to lead 56-44 with 2:58 left in the first half. The outburst featured one of the Suns' best plays of the night when Bledsoe grabbed an offensive rebound and flipped a behind-the-back pass to Booker, who sank a 3 from the corner.
New Orleans outscored Phoenix 9-2 over the final 2:40 of the half, a spurt capped by Langston Galloway's 3-pointer with 7.3 seconds left to cut the Suns' lead to 58-53 at the break.
The Pelicans opened the second half with a 10-2 spurt, making it a 19-4 run, to take a 63-60 lead on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer with 9:16 left in the third.
Phoenix led 89-82 early in the fourth, but New Orleans promptly tied it with a 7-0 run.
"We lost the game. I'm not happy with that," Bledsoe said. "I'm a sore loser. Man, I hate to lose. This is a game we should have won. ... But we got to start building habits the right way and I thought this group did a great job of that tonight."
Bledsoe had his 12th 30-point game of the season, second against New Orleans. ... Bledsoe and Booker had four fouls apiece through three quarters. ... Tucker got a steal for the 17th consecutive game. He also drew a technical in the fourth quarter. ... Alex Len had 10 points and five rebounds in 7 1/2 minutes in the first half but was scoreless in 12 minutes during the second half. ... After averaging 19 points in the first three games of the season series, T.J. Warren was scoreless and took only three shots in 25 1/2 minutes.
Phoenix is home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.