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(Friday, February 7th)
Final Score: New Orleans 98, Minnesota 91
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Gordon scored 20 points and helped key a huge fourth-quarter swing that lifted the New Orleans Pelicans to a 98- 91 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Gordon recorded nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the final frame, during which New Orleans outscored the Timberwolves by a 37-20 margin to rally for its sixth win in eight games.
Anthony Davis justified his recent All-Star Game addition by adding 26 points and 10 rebounds to the victory, with Brian Roberts contributing 16 points and six assists for the Pelicans.
"Yeah, today has been great. I'm going to enjoy it while it can," Davis said. "We have a game against Brooklyn coming up so I can't get too happy, but at the same time I have to enjoy it."
Timberwolves star Kevin Love returned from a one-game absence to put up 26 points and 19 rebounds, but finished just 6-of-20 from the field and Minnesota faltered down the stretch to suffer its fourth loss in five outings.
Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin recorded 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Timberwolves.
The Pelicans trailed by nine points with 10 minutes left, then proceeded to put together a momentum-shifting 16-2 run to move in front to stay.
Anthony Morrow buried a pair of pivotal 3-pointers during the burst, the last pulling New Orleans within 77-76. Davis stole an errant pass from Love on the ensuing possession, and Gordon utilized a screen to drive the lane and dunk for the go-ahead bucket with 7:10 left.
Davis then sank two free throws and hit a short jumper to extend the margin to 82-77 with five minutes to go.
Love made a pair at the line to end the surge, but the T-Wolves turned it over on their next two trips prior to Gordon draining a clutch 3-ball that made it a six-point game. After Love went 1-for-2 from the stripe, Luke Babbitt tipped in a Davis miss to put Minnesota in an 89-82 hole with 2:40 left.
Roberts' jumper just inside the arc after Davis won a jump ball sealed the verdict, putting New Orleans up 96-91 with 22.9 seconds showing.
"It was tough, they played very well," Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio said. "They scored 30 plus points in the fourth quarter and when you give up that many points on the road it makes it very hard to win. At the end we tried to force some shots but they just wouldn't go."
Minnesota led much of the way prior to its fourth-quarter falter, beginning to create some distance near the end of a tightly played opening half. A 7-0 run that Love capped with a 3-point play staked the Timberwolves to a 44-35 advantage with under three minutes to go in the second quarter. Minnesota carried a 47-42 edge into intermission, with Davis keeping the Pelicans in it by amassing 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting over the first two quarters.
New Orleans closed within two following a pair of Gordon free throws with 3:23 left in the third quarter, but the Timberwolves responded with a 10-0 stretch to stretch the margin to 71-59 in the waning stages of the period.
The game was the first since New Orleans Arena was changed to the Smoothie King Center under a 10-year naming rights deal the Pelicans announced Thursday ... Davis, who was named to the Western Conference All-Star squad Friday as an injury replacement for Kobe Bryant, finished 10-of-16 from the field ... Love sat out Wednesday's 106-97 loss at Oklahoma City with a sore back, with Brewer also missing the contest due to the birth of his child ... Tyreke Evans returned to action for New Orleans to record seven points in 20 minutes. He missed Wednesday's win over Atlanta with a rib cage injury ... Morrow went 3- for-3 from 3-point range and the Pelicans were 8-for-15 as a team.
02/08 02:01:20 ET