NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis scored a career-high 32 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and tied a career best with six blocks, leading the New Orleans Pelicans over the Los Angeles Lakers 96-85 on Friday night.
Jrue Holiday had 13 points and 13 assists and Eric Gordon scored 16 for the Pelicans, who led most of the way in their second straight win. New Orleans had lost 11 regular-season games in a row to the Lakers.
New Orleans broke open a tight contest with a 12-0 run in the final 3:16 that started with Davis' 16-foot jumper and included his fast-break two-handed jam, his block of Pau Gasol and his fast-break layup as he was fouled, the last of which had the crowd on its feet chanting "M-V-P!"
Chris Kaman led Los Angeles with 16 points, while Nick Young and Steve Blake each scored 13.
Steve Nash was in uniform but did not wind up playing, part of what coach Mike D'Antoni described as a plan to rest the 39-year-old point guard in the second of games played on back-to-back nights. The Lakers had won in Houston a night earlier and did not arrive in New Orleans until 3 a.m. It was the second time in seven games this season Nash was given a night off.
Jodie Meeks scored 11 points for the Lakers, while Gasol had nine points and 11 rebounds and Jordan Hill pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Jason Smith scored 14 points for New Orleans. The Pelicans outshot the Lakers 43.7 percent (38 of 87) to 38.8 percent (31 of 80) and scored 14 points off turnovers, several coming in that last decisive run. Holiday had four steals and Tyreke Evans three.
Davis was the most productive player on the court from the beginning. He had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.
He asserted himself inside in the opening minutes by rising to tip a missed shot three times before it finally dropped in for his first points. He scored soon after by slamming home another missed shot and hitting an 18-footer.
New Orleans held single-digit lead most of the first half, going up by as much as seven on Evans' driving layup as he was fouled early in the second quarter. The Lakers briefly tied it at 38 on free throws by Kaman, but the Pelicans rebuilt their lead to 55-48 with three consecutive jumpers from about 18 feet each by Holiday, Smith and Gordon to close the second quarter.
Los Angeles opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run, taking a brief 59-57 lead on Kaman's jumper.
Davis responded with a jumper and four free throws to help the Pelicans slowly pull back in front, and Evans jumper from just inside the 3-point arc gave New Orleans a 69-66 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Outgoing NBA commissioner David Stern, who'll step down at the All-Star break in New Orleans in February, attended the game in what is his last planned official visit to the Big Easy in his current post. Honoring Stern were Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. After the first quarter, Stern was presented with a framed Pelicans jersey bearing his last name and the No. 30, a nod to his three decades as commissioner. Stern was influential in securing New Orleans' future as an NBA city both after Hurricane Katrina and in 2010, when the NBA made the unprecedented move of purchasing the team from then-owner George Shinn and finding a buyer committed to keeping the club in Louisiana long-term. That buyer was Tom Benson, who also owns of the NFL's Saints. After Katrina, Stern said, "We were determined to do our best to do everything possible to make sure that we would be a part of what we knew would be the growth and redemption of New Orleans. And we did it." ... The Pelicans' Anthony Morrow banked in a shot from about 60 feet right after the first-quarter horn had sounded, negating the basket. He raised both arms in celebration anyway. In the first half-minute of the second quarter, Morrow followed that up with a 3 that counted and finished with 10 points.