NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Davis knows how much the Brooklyn Nets depend on 3-pointers.
The All-Star forward and the New Orleans Pelicans took advantage of Brooklyn's inability to hit them, building a 22-point halftime lead, but they couldn't stop the Nets from hitting 3s over the next two quarters.
But they benefited again from the Nets' long-distance woes in the second overtime to close them out.
Davis had 44 points and 17 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had a triple-double, and the Pelicans recovered after blowing a 28-point lead to beat Brooklyn 138-128 in two overtimes on Saturday night.
"You know they live by the 3, die by the 3. They were missing a lot and then they were able to get hot, especially Allen Crabbe. That's how they get back into games," Davis said. "We just wanted to keep fighting, doing what we did to get the lead."
It was nearly identical to his last game in New York, when Davis had 48 points and 17 rebounds in a victory over the Knicks last month.
Rondo finished with 25 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Pelicans snapped a three-game losing streak. Nikola Mirotic had 21 points and 16 boards, and Jrue Holiday chipped in 22 points.
"Amazing, amazing," said Mirotic of Rondo's performance. "Especially in the beginning of the game, setting the down, driving to the basket. He was the reading the game excellently tonight."
Crabbe matched a career high with eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points for the Nets, who have lost their last four games.
"Obviously, we didn't play like us," Crabbe said. "So, Coach didn't even come in and yell at us. He said you all figure it and get it together."
Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 24 points, and D'Angelo Russell came off the bench with 21 points and nine assists.
New Orleans led by 28 points in the third quarter when the Nets, who looked flat in the first half, launched their wild comeback, sending the game into overtime on Crabbe's 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in regulation.
The Nets, who shot just 8 for 26 beyond the 3-point line in the first half and then 11 for 23 in the final two quarters, connected on just 2 for 10 in the two overtime periods, missing each of their five 3s in the final overtime session.
Their 21 3s tied a franchise record previously set in regulation against Philadelphia on December 2013.
Crabbe continued his hot shooting, connecting on two more 3s to open up the first overtime session, giving the Nets a 122-118 lead with 2:28 left.
But the Pelicans came back to force the second OT on a jumper by Holiday with 47 seconds to go.
New Orleans had a shot to win after missed shot by DeMarre Carroll but Holiday failed to get the shot off in time.
Davis then scored four points during a 7-0 run for the Pelicans, putting them up 130-124 with 2:50 remaining. After a pair of free throws by Joe Harris, Rondo hit three free throws to put it away.
"I think it could have been easy for us to just kind cave in when we had the big lead and they came back," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. "But I was really proud of the guys hanging in there and keep fighting and fighting and find a way to win the game."
Pelicans: After being held to 14 points in the opening period of Friday night's loss at Philadelphia, New Orleans put up 34 in the first quarter Saturday night.
Nets: F Dante Cunningham, who was acquired from the Pelicans on Thursday before the trade deadline expired, made his debut against his former team. The nine-year NBA veteran had two points.
COMING ALONG FINE
The lack of practices hasn't allowed Gentry to add new plays and work Mirotic into New Orleans' offense, but he'll be looking forward to doing so over the next few days.
His performance against Brooklyn, has been his best, by far, since joining the Pelicans after was acquired from the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 1 after All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season due to an Achilles tendon injury.
"What we have to do now is we have to incorporate him into our offense. We have to really have a lot of time where we can put things in that's going to benefit him," Gentry said.
Mirotic has averaged 14 points and nine rebounds in four games.
"He's really just kind of playing on instinct right now and doing a great job with it. But we'll have time in the next few days to break our offense down and then also put some things in that is going to be beneficial to him."
Pelicans: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Nets: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
Posted on Sun, February 11, 2018
by By ADRY TORRES, Associated Press