Davis powers Pelicans past Clippers, 98-96

BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer
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New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) holds the ball as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) holds the ball as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, and the under-manned New Orleans Pelicans won their fourth straight, 98-96 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Darius Miller, Davis’ former Kentucky teammate who was playing extended minutes because of injuries to the New Orleans backcourt, capped a 16-point effort with a pair of crucial late jumpers. His 3 made it 95-90, and his 16-foot jumper coming off a screen to the left of the foul line gave the Pelicans a 97-92 lead with 47 seconds left.

Anthony Morrow, also playing extended minutes, scored 27 points, while reserve center Alexis Ajinca added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Jamal Crawford scored 31 for the Clippers, but narrowly missed a couple late 3-point attempts, including one as time expired that could have won it.

Former New Orleans star Chris Paul had 12 assists, but set a Clippers record for shooting futility by missing all 12 of his attempts from the field. His only points came on two foul shots.

Blake Griffin had 21 points, including a late off-balance floater as he was fouled with 10.5 seconds left, but missed the following free throw that could have tied it. Davis rebounded the miss, but missed a free throw of his own on the other end, giving Los Angeles one more chance to tie or win it.

Davis scored 10 of his points in the second half, including a two-handed dunk in which he sprung toward the hoop from right side of the lane too quickly for DeAndre Jordan to respond.

Jordan finished with 11 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, stops the ball on a pass attempted by New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The Pelicans won 98-96. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, stops the ball on a pass attempted by New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The Pelicans won 98-96. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

The Pelicans entered the game short-handed at guard. Eric Gordon missed his third straight game with left knee tendinitis, while points guard Brian Roberts (bruised left knee) and Austin Rivers (upper respiratory infection) were also out.

That forced Pelicans coach Monty Williams to start shooting guard Tyreke Evans at point guard, with Miller, normally a small forward, also playing some minutes at backup point guard. Evans finished with 10 points and nine assists.

New Orleans managed to keep pace with Los Angeles in part because Paul kept missing and didn’t score until hitting two free throws with 2:52 left in the third quarter.

There were 16 lead changes and 12 ties in the game, and neither team led by double digits until.

New Orleans led by as many as eight when Davis converted a three-point play on a dunk as he was fouled by Barnes made it 55-47 late in the second quarter.

Los Angeles scored the next five points on Barnes’ 3 and Griffin’s layup, cutting the score to 55-52 at halftime

Notes: The Clippers 13 of 30 from 3-point range. They won the last 33 games in which they’d made nine or more 3s. … The Pelicans’ victory was their first over the Clippers in four games this season. They won’t meet again. … The Clippers resume their four-game road trip Thursday night in Dallas and Saturday night in Houston, and then wrap it up in Minnesota on Monday night.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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