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Davis’ big game in return lifts Pelicans over Spurs, 104-90

Anthony Davis, Danilo Gallinari

Anthony Davis, Danilo Gallinari


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 20 points and 18 rebounds in his return from a sore shoulder, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the San Antonio Spurs 104-90 on Friday night for their second victory of the season.

Ryan Anderson hit six 3-pointers and scored 30 points for the second straight game. Ish Smith had 17 points and 13 assists for New Orleans (2-11), which snapped a five-game skid.

Kawhi Leonard scored 22 for San Antonio, which lost for only the third time this season and had its six-game winning streak snapped. LaMarcus Aldridge left briefly in the first quarter after twisting his left ankle, but returned and finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Tim Duncan failed to grab a rebound for the first time in his NBA career, STATS confirmed. He scored six points in 19 minutes.

Eric Gordon scored 11 for New Orleans, including a 3-pointer that gave the Pelicans a 100-88 lead with 2:59 remaining.

Davis did not appear inhibited by the shoulder soreness that forced him out in the first quarter of New Orleans’ loss to Denver last Tuesday night. After missing Wednesday night’s loss at Oklahoma City, Davis returned in force, soaring for alley-oop dunks and a dramatic block of Aldridge’s mid-range jumper in the fourth quarter.

As he came down, Davis pounced on the loose ball, turned and hurled it off Aldridge’s legs before crashing into the first row of seats. The play resulted in possession for New Orleans, and Davis waved the crowd into a frenzy that seemed to carry his team to the finish.

San Antonio’s largest lead was 8-0 just more than 3 minutes in. The Pelicans rallied to take the lead for good with 2:50 left in the first quarter.

New Orleans led 48-41 at halftime and by as many as 10 in the third quarter.

Tony Parker, who scored 10 points, pulled the Spurs to 83-82 with a short fadeaway as he fell to the floor with 10:21 left. Smith responded with a pull-up jumper and, minutes later, fed an alley-oop lob to Davis. That made it 89-84, and the Pelicans gradually pulled away from there.


Spurs: Aldridge’s injury occurred in a collision with the Pelicans’ Alonzo Gee. Aldridge wound up playing approximately 32 minutes, all but about 6 of those coming after his injury. ... G Manu Ginobili, who missed his second straight game and third in four because of tightness in his hip, is expected to return for San Antonio’s next game against Memphis, coach Gregg Popovich said. ... Parker was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter for barking at officials moments after being fouled by Jrue Holiday.

Pelicans: C Omer Asik returned from a two-game absence caused by a stomach illness. He played 12 minutes, grabbing seven rebounds and scoring one point. ... Holiday, who sat out Wednesday’s game as a precaution as he recovers from a right shin injury, started and played 24 minutes, finishing with nine points and seven assists.