Jimmer Fredette scored 17 points and Lane Babbitt added 15 to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 98-86 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night in the preseason opener for both teams, played at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville.
While it was technically a home game for the defending Eastern Conference champions, most of the sellout crowd of 20,074 cheered the four Pelicans with local ties. Darius Miller and Anthony Davis starred at Kentucky, Russ Smith for Louisville and Eric Gordon at Indiana.
Chris Bosh shot 3 for 13 for Miami and Dwyane Wade was 2 of 7.
The Pelicans used a 20-5 run to end the second quarter to turn a six-point Heat lead into a 44-35 halftime advantage. New Orleans hit five three-pointers in the run.
New Orleans finished 14 of 32 from behind the arc. Fredette and Babbitt combined to go 8 of 14.
James Ennis led Miami with 17 points.
Davis, who played for only 11 minutes and 20 seconds in the first half, finished with five points, four rebounds and three blocks for the Pelicans. It was the ex-Cat's first action since winning a gold medal last month with Team USA at the FIBA World Cup.
Miller, a former Mr. Kentucky basketball at Mason County, started the game and finished eight points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal in just over 32 minutes of action.
Smith, playing 13 minutes only in the second half, scored 12. The former Cardinals pulled down three rebounds and had two steals.