Help is on the way for Anthony Davis, but he didn’t need a whole lot of it Friday night.
New Orleans played without forward Nikola Mirotic, whom it acquired in a trade with Chicago on Thursday to replace All-Star forward DeMarcus Cousins, who was lost to a season-ending Achilles injury last week.
Without his new frontcourt partner, Davis scored 43 points and passed Davis West as New Orleans’ all-time leading scorer, and the Pelicans defeated the Thunder 114-100 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Davis also had 10 rebounds and is expected to join forces with Mirotic for the first time on Saturday when New Orleans visits Minnesota .
E’Twaun Moore added 26 points, Jrue Holiday had 11 points and 11 assists, Darius Miller scored 11 off the bench and Rajon Rondo had seven points, 13 assists, seven rebounds and four steals for the Pelicans.
Russell Westbrook had a triple-double for the Thunder, finishing with 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Steven Adams had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Paul George scored 15 points, Alex Abrines had 14, Carmelo Anthony 13 and Jerami Grant had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
New Orleans trailed by 16 in the second quarter and four at halftime before taking a 61-60 lead on Moore’s 3-pointer early in the third quarter.
The Pelicans led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter and had a 90-83 edge after a period in which Moore scored 10 points and Davis added 11.
Abrines opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer for the Thunder, but Miller answered with a 3-pointer and New Orleans pushed the lead to 97-86.
Oklahoma City got within six, but Rondo answered with a 3-pointer with 5:33 left.
A Westbrook 3-pointer cut the lead to seven, but Davis’ 3-pointer gave New Orleans a 110-100 lead with 1:38 left.
Anthony scored nine points and Westbrook had seven, as the Thunder rolled to a 32-22 lead after one quarter.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter, but Davis scored 12 points and Moore added 11 in the period as the Pelicans trimmed the deficit to 58-54 at halftime.
—Field Level Media