Pelicans top Timberwolves
NEW ORLEANS — Forward Anthony Davis, named an All-Star for the first time just hours before the game, had 26 points and 10 rebounds and guard Eric Gordon scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 98-91 comeback victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at the Smoothie King Center.
The Pelicans (22-27) trailed 71-61 entering the fourth quarter but outscored the Timberwolves 37-20 to post their sixth victory in eight games.
New Orleans reserve guard Anthony Morrow made all three 3-pointers he attempted in the fourth quarter to score his only points of the game.
Minnesota (24-25) got a game-high 26 points from forward Kevin Love, including 14 at the foul line, but the Timberwolves could not survive five fourth-quarter turnovers and the Pelicans’ 65 percent shooting from the field (13 of 20) in the quarter. Love also finished with 18 rebounds.
Minnesota led 75-66 on a driving layup by guard J.J. Barea with 10:01 left, but New Orleans scored the next seven points, including a 3-pointer by Morrow, to cut the deficit to 75-73.
Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer stopped the run with a dunk off a full-court feed from Love, but Morrow added another 3-pointer from the top of the key and Gordon put New Orleans on top 78-77 with a two-handed dunk after leaving Brewer in the dust with a crossover baseline move.
The Timberwolves dominated at the free throw line through three quarters, hitting eight foul shots during a 10-0 run that padded their lead to 71-59. Entering the fourth quarter, Minnesota had outscored the Pelicans 24-6 at the line and Love was 9 of 10.
Davis came out as though he wanted to justify his selection to the All-Star team. He scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field in the first half, but the rest of the Pelicans accounted for only 25 points as Minnesota took a 47-42 halftime lead.
The Timberwolves used balanced scoring in the first half, getting 11 points each from Brewer and guard Kevin Martin and 10 points from Love. Minnesota got to the foul line 12 times and made 10. New Orleans made just two free throws in the first half.
Minnesota led 37-35 with 4:10 left in the half before scoring seven consecutive points, with Love accounting for five on two post moves.