Pelicans survive James’ late surge, beat Cavs 114-108 in OT

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 31 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, and the New Orleans Pelicans survived a stunning fourth-quarter surge by LeBron James to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-108 in overtime on Friday night.

Davis scored six points in the extra period on three jumpers from beyond 12 feet to help the Pelicans (5-15) pull out a much-needed victory. Eric Gordon had 19 points and Ryan Anderson 18 for the Pelicans, who led by 13 with less than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Cavs stormed back to take a late lead, with James scoring 21 of Cleveland’s last 24 points in regulation.

Jrue Holiday‘s 3 pulled New Orleans back into a tie at 105 with 8 seconds left before James, who finished with 37 points, missed a 19-footer that could have won it. James didn’t score in overtime, missing two shots.

After trailing most of the first two-plus quarters, New Orleans suddenly surged in front with 14-2 run ignited by Gordon, who hit a 21-foot jumper, a tough 7-foot fade in traffic and a 3 during the spurt.

New Orleans maintained its lead most of the fourth quarter and appeared in control when Dante Cunningham‘s jumper made it 94-81 with 6:52 left. Instead, James led the Cavs right back into the game – and very nearly won it. The only other basket during James’ fourth-quarter surge was Matthew Dellavedova‘s 3, set up by James on a crisp, cross-court pass.

James’ consecutive fast-break baskets – the second a reverse layup as he was fouled – cut the Pelicans’ lead to 98-97. Then James’ 17-foot step-back, followed by his driving layup around 7-footer Omer Asik, put Cleveland up by 3. But Davis’ steal and dunk minutes later cut Cleveland’s lead to a point, and after James’ free throws, Jrue Holiday hit his clutch 3 to force OT.

J.R. Smith scored 18 points for Cleveland on 6-of-13 shooting from 3-point range. Kevin Love had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Tyreke Evans had 14 points and 10 assists, while Holiday finished with 13 points.

Cleveland opened the game on a 15-4 run in which Smith hit three 3s and James added a finger roll and layup, but New Orleans gradually pulled even during the first half, when Davis had 15 of his points. The Pelicans tied it at 47 on Evans’ driving finger roll and took their first lead since it was 2-0 on Gordon’s 3.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Cleveland is now 2-1 against the Western Conference. … The Cavs held the previous three opponents under 30 percent shooting from 3-point range (16-70), but the Pelicans shot 36 percent (9 of 25). … Cleveland failed to outrebound and opponent for only the third time in 19 games. … Tristan Thompson had 10 rebounds, his career-high eighth straight game with at least 10.

Pelicans: Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry made a change to the starting lineup, opening with Evans and Gordon in the back court and moving Jrue Holiday to backup point guard. Because of various injuries affecting numerous players this season, it was New Orleans 14th different starting lineup in 20 games. … Gordon was 4 of 5 from 3-point range. … Davis has at last 10 rebounds in eight of 10 games, including three games with at least 17 rebounds.