NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans weren’t concerned when the Cavaliers went eight for eight from beyond the arc to build a 13-point first-quarter lead.
“It’s like the stock market,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “At some point, there has to be an adjustment.”
New Orleans pounced when the Cavaliers cooled. Anthony Davis had 38 points and 13 rebounds, and the Pelicans came alive in the second half to beat Cleveland 140-126 on Wednesday night.
The Cavs hit just eight of 22 three-pointers in the final three quarters, while New Orleans scored 41 points in the third quarter and 40 in the fourth for a runaway victory. Davis had 18 points in the third quarter alone.
“Obviously if you have back to back 40-point quarters, your offence is working pretty well,” Gentry said.
In the second half, the Pelicans shot 67.6 per cent (25 of 37) from the floor, 38.5 per cent (five of 13) on three-pointers and 96.3 per cent (26 of 27) on free throws.
The Cavaliers lost their 11th in a row. They built a 16-point second-quarter lead before cooling off and letting the Pelicans finish the second quarter on a 12-2 run.
“We made a push before halftime,” guard Jrue Holiday said, “and we broke it open after that.”
Four other Pelicans scored in double figures as Frank Jackson scored 19, Holiday added 18 and Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle had 17 each.
The Pelicans won their third straight game for the first time since November 16-19.
All 10 Pelicans who played scored, and the team shot well throughout.
“I thought we did some good things in spurts, but we didn’t sustain,” Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said. “We just have to buckle down and try to put four solid quarters together, which we haven’t been able to do.”