Two days after needing four IVs to overcome an illness and finish a game, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis didn’t need any extra fluids to dominate an opponent on Wednesday night.
With Davis healthy and recovered, the Pelicans rolled to a 115-89 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds and New Orleans won for the second straight game, only the second time this season it has won back-to-back games.
More importantly, the Pelicans improved to .500 at home and have gone 8-8 after starting the season 1-11.
“We could have a lot more wins,” Davis said. “We gave some games away. Some games we didn’t even show up to play. I think we’re heading back in the right direction.”
The Pelicans did it unconventionally for them, playing stifling defense.
Despite being last in the league in points allowed per game (107.8) and next-to-last in opponent’s field goal percentage (46.5), New Orleans held the Blazers to 30 percent shooting over the final three quarters.
“I thought we were good at just being solid defensively,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We didn’t have the breakdowns or the roll to the baskets or anything like that. Hopefully it’s another step in the consistency of what we’re trying to do.”
The game, however, turned with 4 minutes to play in the first half when New Orleans turned a two-point lead into a 51-36 halftime advantage. Tyreke Evans, who finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, had eight points and two steals to key the game-changing run.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, got hot from 3-point range to help extend the lead. After starting the game 2 of 14 from beyond the arc, New Orleans went 10 for 15. Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon combined for nine of the 12 3-pointers. Holiday had 19 points while Ryan Anderson added 13.
“We never were really able to get back into it,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “They got off to a good start in the third quarter and we were into too big of a hole. We struggled offensively most of the night shooting the ball.”
C.J. McCollum had 19 points and seven assists to lead Portland, which was without Damian Lillard for the second time this season. Allen Crabbe scored 12 points starting in place of Lillard, who has plantar fasciitis in his left foot.