Davis, Pelicans hold off Doncic-led Mavs 114-112
By PETER FINNEY JR.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Anthony Davis hit a go-ahead, fall-away jumper with 43.9 seconds left and scored a season-high 48 points to outduel rookie Luka Doncic and lift the New Orleans Pelicans over the Dallas Mavericks 114-112 on Friday night.
Davis was fouled on the shot and made the free throw for a two-point lead. Dallas got two more possessions, but Doncic had a layup blocked by Jrue Holiday, Dennis Smith Jr. missed a 3-pointer and the Mavericks couldn't get off a shot on a final possession with four seconds left.
Davis also grabbed 17 rebounds and New Orleans snapped a five-game skid. The Pelicans dominated in the paint, scoring 70 points, including 22 from Julius Randle.
Doncic scored 34 points and hit 7 of 10 3-pointers, and Harrison Barnes had 21 points.
Dallas set up for its final possession with Smith inbounding the ball. Smith got it back and drove into the lane against Davis, but his scoop shot did not beat the buzzer and fell off the rim anyway.
The Mavericks outscored the Pelicans from long range in the first half, cruising to a 66-55 lead by making 10 of 19 3-pointers while holding New Orleans to just 1 of 13 from behind the arc.
Davis kept the Pelicans in the game with 22 first-half points on 9-of-15 shooting. Holiday had 14 first-half points, but seven of the Pelicans' other nine players had two or fewer points.
New Orleans chipped away, outscoring Dallas 31-22 in the third quarter to pull within 88-86.
The Pelicans took their first lead since late in the first quarter on Frank Jackson's 3-pointer from the right baseline, which put them up 99-96 with 7:43 left. J.J. Barea answered with a 3-pointer a few seconds later for Dallas.
Davis made a 15-foot fadeaway over Jordan to tie it at 105 with 3:59 left, and his floating right-hand hook and 18-foot jumper on two of the Pelicans' next three possessions gave New Orleans a 111-109 lead.
Mavericks: Smith returned after missing 11 games with a right wrist sprain. It was his first start since Dec. 13. ... The Mavs are in a stretch in which they will play 14 games in 25 days in four time zones.
Pelicans: New Orleans inserted F Darius Miller into the starting lineup for perimeter shooting help. Miller missed two shots in 10 minutes and have any points. ... In games decided by five or fewer points, the Pelicans have lost seven of their last eight.
Mavericks: Host Oklahoma City on Sunday night.
Pelicans: Host Houston on Saturday night, the second game of a three-game homestand.
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