Holiday’s late jumper lifts Pelicans past Nets, 117-115
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis demonstrated what a decisive, composed and efficient tandem they can be when an opponent suffers a last-minute lapse.
Holiday highlighted a 26-point performance with a pull-up jumper near the foul line with 2 seconds left, Davis stole Brooklyn’s last-gasp inbound pass, and the New Orleans Pelicans remained unbeaten by scoring nine straight over the last 1:49 in a 117-115 victory over the Nets on Friday night.
“Our chemistry is there,” Holiday said, alluding to New Orleans’ 4-0 start to the regular season. “The way we’re playing, I think we know after these last couple games that we can win in tough situations.”
The Nets were clinging to a one-point lead and trying to run down the clock when D’Angelo Russell’s pass intended for Caris LeVert sailed out of bounds with 7 seconds left. The crowd, which had been screaming nervously for New Orleans to stop the clock by fouling in the moments before the turnover, suddenly erupted into triumphant roars as the Pelicans — who were out of timeouts — quickly inbounded the ball and Holiday raced toward the key on the dribble for his go-ahead 17-footer.
“We know what that play is. It’s either get the ball to Anthony or come off a screen and if you have a wide-open shot then it’s a wide-open shot,” Holiday said. “Anthony attracts so many people when he rolls to the basket.”
The Nets took a timeout, and that’s when Brooklyn’s Ed Davis was assessed a technical foul for shoving Solomon Hill away from the Nets’ bench area, giving the Pelicans another free throw, which Holiday sank.
“I just learned from Jared Dudley,” Hill said, referring to Brooklyn’s veteran forward. “I tried to look at their play and a guy put himself in a situation that he probably shouldn’t have put himself in and things happen.”
The Nets still had a chance until Anthony Davis leapt to tip Joe Harris’ inbound pass to himself as time ran out.
“I was just trying to be all over the ball and try to make it tough for them,” said Davis, who missed 13 of his 19 shots in an off night by his standards, but still finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. “We just fought the entire game. It wasn’t pretty.”
Russell’s late turnover marred a 24-point performance in which he hit six 3-pointers.
“It was all my fault,” Russell said. “We’ve got to be better, honestly. We focused 47 minutes and 36 seconds, and that other 20-some-odd seconds we wasn’t focused. I wasn’t focused. So that’s where that mistake happened.”
The Nets combined for 19 3s in all on 40 attempts, but they could have used one more when LeVert let it fly from deep with about 25 seconds left. It missed, Davis got the rebound, and Dudley purposely fouled Holiday with 21 seconds left and Brooklyn leading by three. Holiday made both free throws to pull the Pelicans to 115-114 and set up the dramatic finish.
“It’s a shame because we played a heck of a game, and we didn’t close it out when we had opportunities,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “We had a lot of young mistakes out there, but we’ve just got to learn from it.”
Nets: LeVert scored 21 points and Shabazz Napier added 16 points. ... The Nets had 26 assists. They have 20-plus assists in each of their five games so far.
Pelicans: Elfrid Payton scored 17 points but left in the final minutes with a left leg cramp. ... Davis’ fourth block of the game gave him 1,000 for his career. ... Veteran Wesley Johnson saw his first action of the season in the second quarter, when Darius Miller went to the locker room with a bruised quadriceps.
Holiday was nearby when Hill was shoved away from the Nets’ bench area and complimented Brooklyn’s use of technology to diagram plays.
“I saw they had an iPad and I’m like, ‘Dang, that’s pretty cool,’” Holiday said, noting Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry “is still using the board to write on.”
Seven Nets players hit 3s and five made more than one. Dudley, Napier and Spencer Dinwiddie each hit three.
But LeVert struggled from long range, missing five of six.
Brooklyn is 61 of 141 (43.3 percent) from 3-point range in its past four games.
The Nets made 10 of 19 3-point attempts in the first half, when Russell made his first four.
Brooklyn led by as many as 13, at 66-53, on LeVert’s driving layup as he was fouled late in the second quarter.
Nets: Host Golden State on Sunday.
Pelicans: Host Utah on Saturday.