Davis nails winner to lift Pelicans past Suns

(TSX / STATS) -- PHOENIX -- The New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns played four nail-biting games this season.

The difference was eight points and one Anthony Davis.

Davis had the last three New Orleans baskets, including a put-back, 5-foot jump hook with 40.3 seconds left to put the Pelicans ahead to stay in a 110-108 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

"We executed and we fought. There is a lot of toughness on this team," said Davis, who had his 36th double-double of the season. "(Phoenix) is a good team. Better than their record. They have a lot of guys who can score doing a variety of things. We just grinded it out and got the win."

Davis finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Pelicans (22-34), who won three of four games against Phoenix by margins of one in overtime, two and five points. The Suns won their game by one in overtime.

"Against this team, the four games have all been like this," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. "We just started having better ball movement and we got AD and Jrue (Holiday) on one side of the floor. We like those situations and we found a way to score.

Tyreke Evans had nine of his 15 points in the second half and made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 110-108 with 18.4 seconds left.

"Tyreke and Anthony really took the game over at the end and made some great plays and defensively we made stops at the end," said Holiday, who had 18 points and eight assists.

The Suns had three chances to tie the game on their final possession, but Eric Bledsoe missed a driving layup and P.J. Tucker missed two chances off offensive rebounds.

Phoenix led by 12 in the first half and 89-82 with 8:06 left. But the Pelicans went on a 23-12 run, making nine of 10 shots from the floor to go up 105-101 with 2:14 left. Evans (eight), Davis (six) and Holiday (six) had 20 of the 23 points.

Bledsoe scored a game-high 37 points for the Suns (17-39), who have lost 32 of 38 Western Conference games this season.

"We wanted to get the right shot, not really the quick shot," Phoenix coach Earl Watson said. "(Bledsoe) got to the rim, missed the little easy layup and P.J. ends up with it twice. I thought the last one he got bumped but, you know, no call."

Bledsoe said: "We still had a chance to tie and I missed it at the end. I felt like it was my fault."

E'Twaun Moore added 15 points for the Pelicans, who trailed by as many as 12 in the first half but won for the third time in their last nine games. New Orleans played without forwards Terrence Jones (thumb) and Donte Cunningham (personal).

Devin Booker had 21 points for Phoenix. Tucker had 11 points and 16 rebounds off the bench.

"That's the way the cookie crumbles," Tucker said. "It doesn't get any easier. Nobody should feel sorry for us, we just got to keep playing."

The Pelicans led by as many as seven early in the first period, with Davis scoring eight points. But Bledsoe and Booker, who averaged a combined 43.7 points in three previous games with New Orleans this season, had 19 points and five assists in the first period and Phoenix trailed by one at 29-28 after one.

Alex Len had eight of his 10 points in the second period as Phoenix used a 14-0 run midway through the quarter to open a 56-44 lead on a Marquese Chriss free throw with 2:58 left. But New Orleans outscored the Suns 9-2 the rest of the half and pulled to within 58-53 on Langston Galloway's 3-pointer with 7.3 seconds left.

The Pelicans opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run as well, and took the lead back 63-60 on a Buddy Hield 3-pointer with 9:16 left. But the Suns ended the quarter on a 9-3 run and Tucker's ninth rebound of the quarter, a tip-in with 27.3 seconds left, gave the Suns an 80-77 lead after three.

NOTES: Suns F Tyson Chandler returned after missing one game due to a sprained right ankle. He finished with four points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes. ... Pelicans C Anthony Davis is averaging 27.9 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. The last center to average those numbers for an entire season was Shaquille O'Neal (28.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks) with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000-01. ... F P.J. Tucker made a steal for the 17th consecutive game, the longest streak by a Sun since Shawn Marion had a 17-game run in 2006-07. Tucker is averaging more than two steals per game during his streak.

Updated February 14, 2017

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