April 7, 2018 / 4:48 AM / 17 days ago

Pelicans cruise past Suns, 122-103

Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday each had double-doubles as the New Orleans Pelicans strengthened their playoff position with a 122-103 victory against the battered Phoenix Suns on Friday night in Phoenix .

Davis, who had 53 points in the Pelicans’ last game against the Suns on Feb. 26, scored 27 as New Orleans built a 17-point halftime lead. He finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds, Mirotic had 31 points and 16 rebounds and Holiday had 22 points and 10 assists. Jordan Crawford added 13 points in his first game since being re-signed Thursday.

The Pelicans (45-34) tied Oklahoma City and San Antonio for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference. They stayed a half-game in front of eighth-place Minnesota, which beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, and moved a game in front of ninth-place and idle Denver.

The Pelicans continue their three-game road trip when they visit Golden State on Saturday. They finish the trip Monday against the 10th-place Clippers, who can do no better than tie New Orleans, before hosting the regular-season finale against the Spurs.

The Suns (20-60) played without five injured players after ending a franchise-record 15-game losing streak with a 97-94 home victory against Sacramento on Tuesday.

Marquese Chriss led them 23 points, Josh Jackson had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Tyler Ulis scored 16, Dragan Bender 14 and Shaquille Harrison 13.

The Pelicans made just two of their first 11 shots in the third quarter, while Chriss scored six points and Bender made consecutive 3-pointers as Phoenix got within 71-62.

Holiday scored seven straight New Orleans points as the Pelicans rebuilt the lead to 20 before taking a 86-70 lead after three quarters.

The Suns got within 12 early in the fourth quarter, but Mirotic answered with two free throws and a 3-pointer to help New Orleans take a 100-81 lead.

Davis scored 13 points and Mirotic had 11 as the Pelicans rolled to a 27-8 lead. New Orleans finished the first quarter with eight 3-pointers and a 39-21 lead.

The Suns pulled within 45-34 as Harrison made consecutive baskets midway through the second quarter.

Davis scored 14 points in the final 6:11 of the half as the Pelicans took a 63-46 halftime lead.

—Field Level Media

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