|Date of game: 3/26/2014
Recap: New Orleans vs. LA Clippers
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Morrow poured in a team-high 27 points to help the New Orleans Pelicans edge the Los Angeles Clippers, 98-96, at Smoothie King Center.
Anthony Davis added 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots and Alexis Ajinca finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, winners in four straight and five of their last six overall.
Darius Miller added 16 points off the bench and Tyreke Evans donated 10 points and nine assists in the win.
"Tyreke (Evans) steps up and plays point guard for the majority of the game. Darius (Miller), he's a guy that I didn't know was going to be able to play at that kind of level because he just hasn't done it. To his credit, he stepped up when we needed him," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "Not only did we beat a good team, we beat a team that's got a chance to win a title."
Pelicans guard Eric Gordon (left knee tendinitis) missed his second straight game.
Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 31 points on 7-of-15 shooting from 3-point range and Blake Griffin finished with 21 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who had won 13 of their last 14 games entering the contest.
Chris Paul, who spent his first six seasons with New Orleans, finished with just two points on 0-of-12 shooting from the field. He also had 12 assists, four rebounds and three steals in the setback.
Miller's turnaround jumper with 6:57 remaining gave the Pelicans a 90-83 edge. Crawford and Matt Barnes nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to pull LA within a point, 90-89, with 5:01 to go.
Moments later, Miller nailed a 3-pointer to make it 95-90.
After trading empty possessions, Paul lofted an alley-oop to Griffin, but Miller's jumper made it 97-92 with 46.8 seconds left. DeAndre Jordan tipped in a Paul miss with 36.1 seconds left and LA clamped down on defense and forced a shot-clock violation with 12.1 seconds to go.
On the ensuing inbounds pass, Griffin faked a handoff to Paul and took one dribble before he was fouled and he hit stumbling runner. He missed the subsequent free throw and the Clippers fouled Davis with 9.4 ticks to go. Davis split the free throws and LA called timeout to advance the ball past midcourt.
Paul dribbled the clock down and passed to Crawford, who threw up a desperation heave from well-beyond the 3-point line at the buzzer that barely drew iron.
"I wanted to see better execution. We didn't execute the play, but the game didn't come down to the final play. I really thought they deserved the win. I felt like that all game," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
New Orleans led 29-27 after the first 12 minutes and took a 55-52 lead into the break. Morrow had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while Crawford finished with 19 points -- including five 3-pointers -- in the first half.
The Clippers opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run to take a 63-57 lead less than four minutes in. Morrow's 3-pointer with 3:30 left in the frame had the Pelicans within a point, 68-67. New Orleans eventually took a 74-71 lead late in the quarter, and led 76-75 entering the final frame.Game Notes
There were 12 ties and 16 lead changes ... The Pelicans outscored LA 56-28 in
the paint ... New Orleans was just 3-of-12 from 3-point range ... Barnes
finished with 14 points and Darren Collison had 11 points and seven assists in