Davis leads Pelicans past Timberwolves, 123-109
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis watches the ball bounce off the rim on an attempted slam dunk in front of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Gorgui Dieng (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
By Brett Martel, Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves 123-109 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points and 11 rebounds in his return from a one-game absence because of left knee and rib soreness. Reserve guard Jordan Crawford scored 22 points in 21 minutes for the Pelicans, who have won 4-of-5. Jrue Holiday had 21 points, shooting 4-of-5 from three-point range.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 33 for the Timberwolves, who lost their third straight. Andrew Wiggins added 25 points and reserve Shabazz Muhammad had 20 for the Minnesota. Ricky Rubio chipped in with 10 points and 14 assists for the Wolves, who built a 13-point lead in the second quarter, only to fade late as New Orleans closed the game on a 21-10 run.
Minnesota shot 53.8 percent in the first half and led 50-37 on Wiggins' put-back with less than five minutes remaining in the second.
New Orleans managed to cut it to 54-48 by halftime, scoring the last six points of the period on Holiday's triple, Solomon Hill's free throw and Davis' dunk.
The Pelicans then shot 71.4 percent (15-for-21) in the third quarter, briefly taking their first lead of the game when Davis slammed down Holiday's short alley-oop lob.
Towns, who shot 14-of-27, responded with one of his four triples to give the Wolves the lead right back, but New Orleans kept coming.
Crawford hit a pair of pull-up jumpers late in the period and Cousins added a triple, helping New Orleans take an 88-84 lead into the fourth.
Crawford added eight quick points to start the quarter, hitting consecutive 3s followed by a tough turnaround fade from 13 feet.
Minnesota briefly pulled to 102-99 on Towns' dunk, but Holiday's turnaround jumper sparked a decisive 12-0 run that included three’s from Hill, who finished with 13 points, and E'Twaun Moore, who scored 14.
Timberwolves: Tom Thibodeau was called for a technical foul by official James Williams when the Minnesota coach held his arms out and appeared to complain after Davis converted a transition layup in the third quarter. Minnesota fell to 23-24 when scoring 100 points. The Wolves got only six points from reserves other than Muhammad, and their bench was outscored 46-26.
Pelicans: New Orleans swept the three-game season series, winning each by double-digits. New Orleans announced before the game that it had signed guard Quinn Cook to a 10-day contract. Cook, signed from Canton of the NBA Development League, got into the game in the final minutes and missed the lone shot he took. Davis' highlights included a crowd-pleasing alley-oop on which the Pelicans' big man twisted in the air to haul in Moore's lob and finished with a two-handed reverse dunk.
Timberwolves: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).
Pelicans: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).