AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Eric Gordon drove through the lane, and his floater gave New Orleans the lead with 1.9 seconds left.
Then, remarkably, the Pelicans never really had to go back and defend. Instead of calling a timeout, Detroit inbounded the ball, and when Brandon Jennings missed a shot from near midcourt, New Orleans had a 103-101 victory over the Pistons on Friday night.
“That’s on them,” Gordon said. “We’ll take the win.”
Detroit lost even after a 30-4 run in the third quarter put the Pistons ahead 78-62. New Orleans reeled off the next nine points to pull within striking distance.
The Pelicans took a 99-98 lead when Anthony Davis was credited with a tip-in, and it was 101-98 after Anthony Morrow’s two free throws with 30.8 seconds left.
Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey drew a foul with 27.4 seconds left. He made the first free throw and missed the second, but New Orleans couldn’t come up with the rebound. Jennings missed a 3-pointer, but Josh Smith rebounded and made a layup to tie it at 101 with 19 seconds to play.
Gordon patiently ran the clock down, spun past rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope near the free throw line, and finished at the basket with a high floater.
“It was for me to get it up top, one on one,” Gordon said. “It’s all about making that last judgment, and trying to get a good shot.”
After Jennings’ final miss, Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks stood near his bench yelling for a timeout.
“I tried to call a timeout,” Cheeks said. “That timeout is on me.”
Detroit wasted a 28-point performance from Jennings and 21 points and 20 rebounds from Andre Drummond. Morrow scored 21 points for New Orleans, which won for only the second time in 11 games.
Morrow had been sick and hadn’t played in more than a week.
“Being sick and kind of being out of the rotation — just got to fight through it,” Morrow said.