NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis scored 40 points and led the New Orleans Pelicans to a 125-115 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Davis followed up his 43-point performance in a 129-124 victory against New York on Friday night by leading a balanced scoring effort for New Orleans, which won for the fifth time in six games. Davis shot 10 for 20 from the field and converted 20 of 21 chances from the line.
Julius Randle had 21 points and 14 rebounds off the bench for the Pelicans. Nikola Mirotic had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Jrue Holiday overcame foul trouble to finish with 19 points and E’Twaun Moore added 13 points.
Nikola Jokic had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Gary Harris scored 24, and Juancho Hernangomez had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who lost for the fifth time in six games. Monte Morris came off the bench to add 13 points and Jamal Murray had 11.
New Orleans enjoyed a significant edge at the foul line and shot 31 of 34 from the line. The Nuggets shot 8 of 13.
The Pelicans, who rallied from a 19-point deficit against the Knicks had a much easier time against the Nuggets.
Though Denver got off to a fast start, New Orleans took the lead late in the first quarter and never trailed again.
Davis scored 12 points as the Pelicans held a 37-35 lead after the first quarter. He wound up with 12 at halftime as his team clung to a 70-67 lead at the break. And, even though Davis had just four points in the third quarter, New Orleans built a 98-88 lead heading into the final period.
The Nuggets got within seven points three times early in the fourth quarter, but Davis and Holiday scored four points each during an 8-0 run that gave New Orleans a 110-95 lead midway through the quarter.
The closest Denver got after that was nine points.
Nuggets: Denver was coming off a season-high point total in a 138-93 home victory against Atlanta on Monday. . Jokic is the Nuggets’ leading scorer (17.1 points per game) and he surpassed his average in the first quarter, finishing the period with 18 points.
Pelicans: The Pelicans had four scorers in double figures by the middle of the second quarter. … Davis had 22 first-half points, the second consecutive game that he had more than 20 points in the first half. He scored 23 in the first half of a 129-124 victory against the Knicks on Friday. . Holiday went to the bench midway through the third quarter after committing his fourth foul.
PAYTON OUT INDEFINITELY
Pelicans G Elfrid Payton will see a hand surgeon next week to get an evaluation of the broken little finger on his left hand that he sustained against the Knicks on Friday. It was Payton’s first game back in the lineup after missing nine straight due to a sprained right ankle.
Nuggets: Denver visits Milwaukee on Monday.
Pelicans: New Orleans hosts San Antonio on Monday.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports