NBA

Dominant Davis leads Pelicans past struggling Jazz

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The Canadian Press
11/21/2013 12:09:10 AM
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NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis has come close to making New Orleans Pelicans franchise history two games in a row. Ryan Anderson has helped ensure Anderson's performances don't go to waste.

Davis had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans won their second straight game, 105-98 over the struggling Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

Anderson added 14 of his 19 points in the second half to help the Pelicans pull away in the fourth quarter after the Jazz, who beat New Orleans for its only win of the season last week, had rallied to take a third-quarter lead.

"I always come in and I'm going to shoot the open shot and try to be aggressive and score but it's hard to know when you're sitting out how you're going to have an immediate impact," Anderson said. "It's been a very easy transition because of the guys. It's not a surprise, but it's relieving to know that these guys can just pick that up and we can play as a group. ... The guys are getting me open and we're really doing a good job of moving the ball."

Anderson, who returned from a broken toe last Saturday night, has played a significant role in each of New Orleans' past two victories, going 16 of 25 from the field, including 10 of 16 from 3-point range.

"Ryan just gives us a dimension, not only does he shoot the ball well, he can rebound on the defensive end," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said, adding that Anderson, simply because of the threat he poses from outside, "helps so many guys without touching the ball."

Jrue Holiday scored 14, Tyreke Evans 13 and Jason Smith 11 for New Orleans.

Former Michigan star and first-round draft choice Trey Burke made his NBA debut for Utah after missing the first 12 games because of surgery on his right index finger. The ninth overall pick last summer scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting in only 12 minutes.

Burke said he wanted more minutes but understood the decision to limit his playing time.

"That's how it is coming off an injury," Burke said. "Coach wanted to shelter me a little bit."

Enes Kanter led Utah with 19 points and John Lucas III added 14, hitting four of five 3s he attempted. Richard Jefferson and Derrick Favours each scored 13, but it was not enough prevent the Jazz (1-2) from dropping their fourth straight as one of its top scorers, Gordon Hayward had an off-night. Hayward shot 1 for 17 and finished with six points.

"You have to grow through it," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. "This is who we have and this is who we are going to be. We can't manufacture anyone else to put on the floor. We have to learn through it on the fly here."

Davis' defence only made it harder on Utah. In the last two games, he has nearly had his first career triple-double, narrowly missing double digits in rebounds and blocks. No player in the 26-year history of the Pelicans, formerly called the Hornets, has had a triple-double comprised in part by double-digit blocks.

Moving quickly all over the court, Davis even rejected a perimeter shot by Hayward.

"You just got to defend," Davis said. "That's what Jrue tells me all the time: 'It starts with you.' So I just try to go out there and defend, play as hard as I can and hopefully the team follows in my footsteps and we play well defensively."

Utah started to find its rhythm early in the third quarter, scoring 11 straight points, including two 3s by Lucas and another by Jefferson, to take its largest lead at 57-51.

New Orleans immediately responded with a 15-4 run, however. Holiday scored twice inside during the spurt and Davis added a fast-break dunk.

The game remained close until early in the fourth quarter, when Anderson hit two 3s to cap a 14-2 run that gave New Orleans its largest lead at 87-73. Utah was able to briefly trim its deficit to six when Kanter's inside basket made it 96-90, but Davis' putback in a crowd began another Pelicans surge which Anderson highlighted with a dunk to build New Orleans' lead back to a game-high 14 at 105-91 with 1:05 left.

New Orleans finished shooting 51 per cent (40 of 79), while Utah hit 45 per cent (37 of 83) of its shots.

NOTES: Utah, which fell to 0-7 away from home, continues its three game road trip Friday at Dallas and Sunday at Oklahoma City. ... A video review deprived Anderson of a made 3 when officials concluded a foul called on Utah occurred just before the shot.

Anthony Davis (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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