NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans erased a 12-point deficit in the final 5 minutes to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-100 tonight.
Jrue Holiday had 15 points and 11 assists for the Pelicans. Eric Gordon scored 19, including a 3-pointer from the corner with 31 seconds left to give New Orleans the lead for good.
Kyrie Irving, who had 22 points, drove for a potential tying layup with 23 seconds left but lost the ball as he collided with Davis. As the Pelicans’ Tyreke Evans corralled the loose ball, Irving took off his protective face mask in disgust, certain he was fouled.
New Orleans then made four free throws in the final 20 seconds to secure its third straight win.
The Cavs led 93-81 with 4:44 to go after Earl Clark’s third 3-pointer of the second half capped what appeared to be a decisive 9-2 run.
New Orleans coach Monty Williams responded with a lineup featuring his five top scorers: Gordon, Holiday, Davis, Evans and Ryan Anderson.
What resulted was a 14-2 run that included 3s by Holiday and Anderson, as well as six points by Davis on a dunk, free throws and a tip-in of Evans’ miss on a fast break to tie it at 95 with 1:29 to go.
Evans finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, including a clutch layup on a baseline drive with 1:01 left. Anderson had 13 points and Jason Smith 11.
Jarrett Jack scored 19 points and Dion Waiters added 14 for Cleveland, which led most of the way. Tristan Thompson added 12 points and Clark 11.
New Orleans managed to pull out the win despite being badly outshot, 53.2 percent (41 of 77) to 40.9 percent (36 of 88). The Pelicans made up for it with a 48-37 rebounding advantage and by converting 20 Cavs turnovers into 21 points.
Cleveland led 16-6 early on Andrew Bynum’s short turnaround jumper.
The Pelicans called timeout, inserted Evans, and soon after put together a 13-2 run. Gordon worked his way inside three times for layups, Davis added a follow-up dunk and Evans completed the surge by snagging a loose ball in the paint and laying it in to give New Orleans a 19-18 lead.
The Cavs methodically rebuilt their lead thanks to Waiters, who led all scorers with 14 points in the opening half. Jack, who once played for New Orleans, made a running, off-balance 21-footer at the horn to give Cleveland a 51-42 halftime lead.
The Cavs led by as many as 11 in the third quarter on Thompson’s hook shot. Later in the period, New Orleans briefly surged back in front with a 12-0 run that began with Evans’ 3 and ended with Anderson’s 3. But a 3-pointer by Clark and Jack’s driving floater in the paint helped Cleveland take a 71-70 lead heading into the final quarter.
NOTES: Undrafted rookie Matthew Dellavadova got his first career start in place of C.J. Miles, who did not make the trip because of a right calf strain. Dellavadova did not score. He had one assist and two rebounds in about 12 minutes of playing time. ... Cavaliers rookie Anthony Bennett, the top overall pick in last summer’s draft, was healthy and active but did not get into the game. ... New Orleans has won four straight at home.