New Orleans snaps Grizzlies winning streak
NEW ORLEANS – Jrue Holiday scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-104 on Saturday night.
Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds but did not score his first points of the second half until he dunked with 1:15 to go in the game, giving the Pelicans a 108-102 lead.
Darius Miller added 12 points in a reserve role for New Orleans, which never trailed but very nearly blew a 21-point lead.
Trailing by 15 at halftime, Memphis scored the first 13 points of the third quarter, part of a 16-2 run to open the half that trimmed New Orleans’ lead to a single point with most of the third quarter remaining.
The Pelicans briefly rebuilt their lead to 12, but it was back to a single possession by the end of the third quarter after Wayne Selden, who scored a career-high 31 points, hit a 3 to make it 83-81.
New Orleans didn’t lead by double digits again, and Cousins had to briefly leave the game after committing his fifth foul with nearly seven minutes to go, but Holiday’s big quarter preserved the victory.
Marc Gasol scored 16 points for Memphis, which lost for just the second time in six games. Guard Tyreke Evans scored 12 points against his former team and former LSU player Jarell Martin had 11.
In their first game after being named All-Star starters, Davis and Cousins helped the Pelicans build their largest lead in a first half by dominating the interior.
Cousins reached 11 points with a crowd-pleasing spinning dribble away from a converging double-team, setting up is scoop off the glass as he was fouled. That made it 51-30 with 4:23 to go in the second quarter. Davis reached 19 points when his stealth baseline cut was rewarded by Cousins’ crisp chest pass from the top of the key, setting up an easy dunk.
Pounding the ball into the paint helped the Pelicans build a glaring 22-4 advantage in first-half free-throw attempts. Davis scored seven of his points from the free-throw line and Cousins six during that stretch.
While that disparity was growing, Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff was assessed a technical foul for his words with an official.
Memphis starters combined for just 23 points in the first half, and the Grizzlies’ deficit could have been a lot worse if not for Selden, who played in three games for the Pelicans earlier this season. Selden scored 18 points in the first half, including a pair of 3s late in the second quarter that helped Memphis trim the lead to 59-44 at halftime.