Anthony Davis had 34 points and 13 rebounds as the host New Orleans Pelicans continued their early-season roll with a 116-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
The Clippers held the Pelicans to 24 fewer points than they had averaged in winning their first two games, but New Orleans still improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Elfrid Payton added 20 points, Nikola Mirotic had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Julius Randle scored 18 points off the bench, and E’Twaun Moore chipped in 14 points.
Tobias Harris led Los Angeles with 26 points, Danilo Gallinari scored 24, Lou Williams added 17 off the bench and Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley had 12 each.
The Clippers led by three points at halftime, but they had trouble scoring for much of the third quarter.
Davis, Mirotic and Payton scored six points each as the Pelicans had a 25-8 run during the first eight minutes of the third to take an 84-70 lead.
In the last four minutes, Los Angeles scored 14 points, nine of which were scored by Williams, to cut New Orleans’ lead to 91-84 at the end of the period.
The Pelicans built the lead to 11 midway through the fourth quarter before Gallinari, Beverley and Williams all made a basket to pull the Clippers within 103-98 with five minutes remaining.
Davis made back-to-back baskets, but Harris scored four straight to get Los Angeles within 107-102 with two minutes left.
After Davis hit a 3-pointer, Harris made two free throws, but Payton added a 3-pointer to give New Orleans a 113-104 lead with 52 seconds remaining.
The Pelicans scored fewer than 30 points in a quarter for the first time this season in the first quarter, but still held a 27-26 lead.
Davis and Mirotic each scored four points early and Randle scored 10 of New Orleans’ final 13 points in the period.
The Clippers scored eight of the first nine points in the second quarter and led by six on three occasions.
The Pelicans pulled even before Gallinari made two free throws and Beverley made a 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a five-point lead.
The Clippers, who set a club record by making all 26 of their free throws in a victory against Houston on Sunday night, made nine of their last 10 free throws in the second quarter and took a 62-59 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media