Anthony Davis had 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots, Tyreke Evans stole Trevor Ariza’s inbounds pass in the final seconds, and the New Orleans Pelicans held on for a 110-108 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.
Eric Gordon scored 26 for the Pelicans, hitting six three-pointers as New Orleans shot 13 of 24 from long range. Ryan Anderson scored 16 for the Pelicans, while Evans finished with 11 points and 13 assists.
James Harden scored 25 points for Houston. His final basket was a 3 that tied it at 108 with 2:27 left.
Ariza and Patrick Beverley each had 16 points for Houston.
Right after Harden’s tying three, Davis dunked an alley-oop lob from Evans, and neither team scored during the last 2 minutes.
Harden was charging down the court on the dribble in the final seconds, but Holiday committed a heads-up blocking foul, forcing an inbound play with 1.7 seconds left. Davis played tight to Ariza to try to deny the inbounds pass, and Ariza struggled for several seconds to find an open player before attempting a bounce pass toward Dwight Howard that Evans easily swiped.
Houston led 103-94 with just less than 8 minutes to go after Harden’s 3, but the Pelicans closed the game on a 16-5 run, going 9 for 10 at the line during the spurt.
Terrence Jones had 13 points, five rebounds and two steals for Houston.
The Rockets made 15 of 33 three-point attempts, but made only four of their last 18 attempts from deep.
The second half featured significant runs by each team to set up a competitive finish.
Houston open the third quarter on a 12-2 run comprised of three three-pointers by Beverley and one by Ariza.
New Orleans then responded with a 15-2 run that included 3s by Holiday and Davis and put the Pelicans up 80-76.
Houston was in control most of the first half, holding significant early advantages in second-chance points and points off turnovers. New Orleans turned the ball over eight times before Houston turned it over once. The Rockets led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter and were up by 11 when Jones’ free throw made it 62-51 with 2:30 left in the period.
But the Pelicans put together a quick rally, closing the quarter on a 12-0 spurt to take a 63-62 lead into halftime. The surge included a dunk and 3-pointer each by Davis and Anderson, and Gordon closed it out with his fifth 3 on as many attempts in the first half, when he had 19 of his points.