Kurt Helin

Anthony Davis scores 35, Pelicans beat Timberwolves 114-99

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis scored 35 points and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame an early 17-point hole to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 on Tuesday night.

Jrue Holiday scored 19 points and Tyreke Evans added 13 for the Pelicans, who’ve won three of four and are four games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with their next six games at home.

Eric Gordon scored 11 points but left the game late in the third quarter after apparently jamming a finger on his right hand.

Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 20 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which has lost 10 of 11. Ricky Rubio added 15 points, but the Timberwolves were outscored 63-39 in the second half.

Minnesota led 62-51 after Wiggins’ layup early in the third quarter, but New Orleans then surged to its first lead of the game with a 14-2 run that began with a 3 by former Minnesota player Dante Cunningham and ended with Gordon’s 100th 3-pointer of the season, making it 65-64.

Cunningham hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points in his 12th start this season.

The Pelicans wound up outscoring the Wolves 31-15 in the third quarter, which ended with the Pelicans scoring four points inside the last 3 seconds – first with Holiday hitting a 15-foot pull-up, then with Cunningham stealing Nemanja Bjelica‘s inbound pass and sprinting in for a layup just before the horn sounded.

Minnesota’s Gorgui Deng, standing under the hoop, caught the ball as it came through the net and disgustedly slammed it off the court. Whatever anger he and his teammates felt didn’t translate to production early in the fourth quarter. They needed more than 3 minutes to score their next points. By then, the Pelicans had taken their first double-digit lead on Davis’ 14-foot jumper.

Soon after, Anderson and Holiday both hit 3s, giving New Orleans a 92-79 lead, and Minnesota could not mount another serious threat.

The Timberwolves looked their best in the opening quarter, racing to their largest lead when Bjelica’s tip-in of Zach LaVine‘s miss made it 38-21.

At that point, Minnesota had hit 13 of its first 17 shots.

Towns had nine points and seven rebounds before the period ended.

Davis scored 22 of his points during the first half to help New Orleans trim its deficit back into single digits. New Orleans also appeared to get an emotional charge when Anderson was called for a foul despite appearing to take the worst of a collision with Kevin Garnett, with the Minnesota veteran’s forearm hitting the Pelicans forward flush in the face. Officials reviewed video of the incident, upholding their initial call as boos rained down from fans who could also see the replay on the scoreboard.

The Timberwolves still were able to carry a 60-51 lead into halftime after Wiggins scored his 14th point on an 11-foot jumper with 4 seconds left in the second quarter, but not much went right after for Minnesota after that.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Reserve center Nikola Pekovic, who did not make his season debut until Jan. 6 because of right Achilles tendon surgery last April 8, was given the night off to rest. … Minnesota was shooting 72.2 percent after the first quarter (13 of 18), but went 23 of 58 (39.7 percent) the rest of the way to finish at 47.4 percent.

Pelicans: Davis has eclipsed 30 points seven times this season, with a season-high of 43 (which tied his career high). … New Orleans improved to 9-9 at home this season. … The Pelicans have won six straight against Minnesota.

 

Tweet of the day: Does J.J. Redick look like Adam Levine?

performs onstage during CBS RADIO’s third annual We Can Survive, presented by Chrysler, at the Hollywood Bowl on October 24, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
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You know who Adam Levine is — lead singer of Maroon 5, coach on “The Voice,” sexiest man alive if you asked People Magazine a couple of years ago.

You know who J.J. Redick is, he dropped 40 points and drained nine threes against the Rockets Monday night.

But have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time? Chris Paul has the tweet of the day with this one.

There are similarities: the hair, the ink on the arms, the fancy schools (Redick went to Duke, Levine the pricey Brentwood School in Los Angeles). I think CP3 may be on to something here.

Kevin Love: Cavaliers need to look in mirror, starting with LeBron James

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Kevin Love was 1-of-5 shooting against the Warriors Monday. After a hot start to the season, he has struggled again to find his place in the offense — and for his teammates to find him when he’s in the right place — and on defense he was an abject disaster. Love’s inability to defend a good pick-and-roll could mean reduced minutes come the playoffs, when the focus on each possession increases.

Kevin Love needs to look in the mirror. He agrees. He said after the game that everyone on the team needs to — then said that needs to start with LeBron James. Here’s the quote, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“We got beat up on our home floor tonight,” Kevin Love said. “I think a lot of things went wrong, a lot of things we need to clean up in our preparation, but I think they’re the better team right now. We have a lot of things to get better at. That’s going to take a lot of guys looking themselves in the mirror and it all starts with our leader (James) over there and dwindles on down.”

He’s not wrong. And LeBron is quick to admit the Cavaliers have a lot of work to do, but it’s January and there is time to do it.

The quote reads as if Love is frustrated with LeBron (and others) on this team. Maybe in person the quote played differently, and Love is just stating the obvious that from LeBron and coach David Blatt on down everyone associated with the Cavaliers needs to do better if they want a ring. Likely that’s how the Cavs will spin this in the next 24 hours.

Still, it reads poorly. And it makes you wonder if there is more to it.

Anderson Varejao’s flop drew a foul, likely draws warning from league

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That’s a flop.

Not that it mattered to the outcome of the game, but Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao flopped during the second quarter of Monday’s showcase game, drawing a foul on the Warriors’ Festus Ezeli.

It worked, he drew the call. His punishment for this from the league can at most be a warning — “hey, don’t do that again.” If he does it again? He gets a $5,000 fine. Varejao’s single-game check this season is $117,543 (pre-tax). So sure, that should dissuade him.

If the NBA wants to end this, they will hit guys hard in the pocket books. Until they do, we will continue to get plenty of similar plays.

Damian Lillard featured in newest Adidas “Creators” ad

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If you’ve been watching any sporting event over the past few weeks, you’ve seen the James Harden “creators never follow” ad from Adidas. He’s the company’s biggest name, and they wisely got him out there first.

Now it’s Damian Lillard‘s turn.

“This message truly shares who I am. I put in work on and off the court and focus on what I can control every day to create my path,” Lillard said in a statement. “You’ve got to be willing to take risks and gamble on yourself. It just comes down to believing in your vision and never letting outside noise worry you.”

As an ad, it’s not as good as the Harden one. If you want to hear Lillard at his best, check out the rap track he dropped on Monday.