Holiday, Davis spark Pelicans past 76ers
NEW ORLEANS -- Jrue Holiday made three 3-pointers and Anthony Davis added another in a decisive 18-4 fourth-quarter run to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to a 131-124 comeback victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday night at the Smoothie King Center.
The Pelicans (14-13) blew an 11-point halftime lead by allowing Philadelphia a 40-point third quarter, and they trailed 103-96 with 9:48 left.
But over the next 2:40, New Orleans outscored Philadelphia 18-4, with Holiday scoring 11 points, to take a 114-107 lead. Holiday had five 3-pointers in the final nine minutes and finished with 34 points, tying his season high, and Davis had 29.
DeMarcus Cousins added 23 points and eight rebounds. Rajon Rondo directed the show with a season-high 18 assists.
The Sixers (13-13), playing without center Joel Embiid, who was a late scratch due to back tightness, lost for the fifth time in six games. They were led by guard JJ Redick's 28 points and Ben Simmons with 27 points and 10 assists.
The Sixers took command by outscoring the Pelicans 40-21 in the third quarter to take a 95-87 lead. Redick led the way with 13 points, and newly acquired Trevor Booker and Amir Johnson had eight points each in the quarter.
The real catalyst, however, was the Sixers' dominance on the offensive glass. In outrebounding the Pelicans 19-6 in the quarter, Philadelphia pulled down 10 offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive.
Rondo made the difference for the New Orleans offense in the first half, dishing out 10 of the Pelicans' 17 first-half assists. Rondo also had three steals and no turnovers. New Orleans shot 57 percent from the floor (24-of-42) and closed the second quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 66-55 halftime lead.
After a chilly start, Cousins scored 13 of his 17 first-half points in the second quarter, and Davis added 15 points in the half. The Pelicans shot 59 percent in a 34-29 second period.
NOTES: Sixers C Joel Embiid was a late scratch after his back tightened up during pre-game warmups. ... The Sixers also played without F Robert Covington, who bruised his lower back in the against a pointed, metal section of a sideline chair in the closing seconds of Saturday night's loss at Cleveland. "He's hurting," coach Brett Brown said. "My suspicion is he will be out the next two games." ... The Sixers also were without G T.J. McConnell (left shoulder), starting Timothe Luwawu-Caborrot. ... Brown said 6-10 Ben Simmons, who played his only year of college ball at LSU, 80 miles north of New Orleans, has exceeded his expectations as a point forward. "He's been a four-man his whole life, we decided to make him a point guard," Brown said. "It's the hardest position to play in the NBA, let alone for a rookie, let alone for somebody that was a college four-man. To his credit, he's embraced the position." ... Pelicans PG Rajon Rondo returned to the starting lineup after a one-game rest.