Davis leads Pelicans past Hornets, 119-115

Charlotte Hornets' Dwight Howard (12) dunks the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, March. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)
Charlotte Hornets' Dwight Howard (12) fights for the ball against New Orleans Pelicans center Emeka Okafor (50) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, March. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)
Charlotte Hornets' Dwight Howard, left, drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans center Emeka Okafor in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)
Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb (3) drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, March. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)
Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) shoots the ball against New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, March. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Veronica Dominach)

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had 31 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the struggling Charlotte Hornets 119-115 on Tuesday night.

Rajon Rondo added 12 points and 17 assists and Jrue Holiday highlighted a 25-point, nine-assist performance with 10 points in the final 2:39, starting with a 3 that put the Pelicans in front.

Holiday's second 3 in that stretch widened New Orleans' lead to five points with 1:19 to go and he added a driving finger roll that made it 117-110 with 30 seconds left. The Pelicans had dropped two in a row.

Charlotte gave itself a chance for an unlikely comeback when Nicolas Batum's steal led to Frank Kaminsky's 3 that made it a two-point game with 4.5 seconds left. The result wasn't sealed until Davis' free throws with 2.8 seconds left.

New Orleans shot 50 percent (52 of 104) and had seven players score 11 or more points. The Pelicans needed every bit of that production on the offensive end in a tense contest with a Hornets team that has lost six of seven.

Dwight Howard had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots for Charlotte, while Kemba Walker added 22 points. Kaminsky had 21 on 9-of-13 shooting and Batum scored 20 for the Hornets, who shot 48.4 percent (45 of 93), but went 7 of 26 from 3-point range.

The Pelicans made 9 of 22 3-point attempts.

Both teams shot better than 52 percent in a high scoring first half.

New Orleans led throughout the opening two periods, but never by more than 11.

Davis, who converted three alley-oop lobs from Rondo into two dunks and a layup, reached 21 points on a close-range hook shot with 1:37 left in the second quarter.

But before the half ended, Walker scored his 20th point on a driving finger roll that made it 72-65.

Charlotte didn't take its first lead until Kaminsky's three-point play on a driving layup while being fouled by Davis with 10:53 left. The Hornets led by as many as six on Kaminsky's 3 with 9:02 to go, and the game remained close from there.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Had 42 bench points, led by Kaminsky and Jeremy Lamb, who scored 16 points. ... Shot 18 of 22 from the free-throw line. Howard accounted for three of the four misses, going 4 of 7. ... Fell to 10-22 on the road.

Pelicans: Swept the season series. ... Emeka Okafor and E'Twaun Moore each scored 14 points, while Ian Clark scored 12 and Nikola Mirotic had 11. ... The Pelicans attempted only eight free throws, hitting six.

UP NEXT

Hornets: At Atlanta Thursday.

Pelicans: At San Antonio Thursday.

___

For more AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

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