Davis has huge game in return, Pelicans beat Pistons 88-85
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Anthony Davis had 39 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks in his return from a right shoulder sprain, and the New Orleans Pelicans won for the sixth time in seven games, 88-85 over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Davis hit two mid-range jumpers in the last 1:14, the second with 18 seconds left, to hold off Detroit in a frenetic, defensive game that had 15 lead changes and eight ties.
In only his third season, Davis has a Pelicans career record 437 blocks. His seventh of the game a two-handed rejection of 6-foot-11 Greg Monroe in the paint gave him the record, surpassing David West's 435.
Tyreke Evans had 21 points and nine assists for New Orleans, including a driving layup in traffic with 44 seconds left. Alexis Ajinca added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Jodie Meeks scored 20 points and Reggie Jackson had 14 for Detroit, which has lost four straight.
Andre Drummond had 13 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks for the Pistons. Monroe, a New Orleans native, added 13 points and 15 rebounds.
The game was ugly at times. Detroit turned the ball over 19 times, while the Pelicans lost the ball 15 times, and both teams shot close to 41 percent.
New Orleans never led by double digits. Davis gave the Pelicans their largest lead with a layup that made it 79-71 with 5:07 to go. But Detroit responded with a 10-2 run, pulling even when Jackson hit a 20-foot jumper and driving finger roll in succession.
Davis then hit the first of his two late jumpers to put the Pelicans back in front, and Evans made it a four-point lead soon after when he drove powerfully into traffic and hit a layup high off the glass.
While the Pelicans were pleased to have Davis back on the court, the Pistons carried the play early on, racing to an 18-6 lead on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's dunk.
New Orleans shot only 30.4 percent in the first quarter, and Davis was among the few players hitting shots. His putback late in the first quarter started a 13-0 run that Davis capped with a layup as he was fouled in the second quarter. That gave Davis 11 early points and the Pelicans a 26-24 lead.
The Pistons, however, moved back in front thanks to Meeks' 14 second-quarter points, and Detroit led 46-42 at halftime.
Pistons: Caldwell-Pope scored eight points in a span of 3:41 in the first quarter on three dunks and a layup. ... The Pistons are 11-17 on the road. ... Drummond, who entered leading the NBA with five offensive rebounds per game, had six in New Orleans.
Pelicans: New Orleans won its sixth straight over Detroit. ... Ajinca has scored in double figures in six straight games.
Pistons: Visit Houston on Friday.
Pelicans: Host Boston on Friday.