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(Friday, January 3rd)
Final Score: New Orleans 95, Boston 92
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Davis scored 10 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter as the New Orleans Pelicans edged the Boston Celtics by a 95-92 score at TD Garden.
Big efforts from Davis and Tyreke Evans enabled the Pelicans to prevail despite leading scorer Ryan Anderson being carted off the court with a frightening neck injury early in the final period.
Davis finished 9-of-12 from the field while adding nine rebounds and three blocks, with Evans amassing 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting along with eight rebounds and six assists.
Avery Bradley recorded 22 points in the loss, the Celtics' third straight and sixth in seven games. Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger both had double-doubles in defeat, with Bass compiling 16 points and 11 rebounds and Sullinger posting 13 points and 11 boards.
A back-and-forth fourth quarter in which neither team was ahead by more than three points saw five lead changes, the last coming on Davis' nifty turnaround hook that gave New Orleans a 91-90 edge with 1:41 remaining.
The Celtics missed four shots on the ensuing possession before Evans went strong to the hoop and scored to extend the margin to three with 42.3 seconds left.
"Down the stretch we just found ways to make plays," Pelicans head coach Monty Williams remarked.
Two Jeff Green free throws brought Boston back within one, and the Celtics had a chance to draw even after Evans turned it over on the other end. Bradley couldn't convert an off-balance layup attempt, though, and Bass' tip-in try also went off the mark and Davis came down with the rebound with 7.5 seconds to go.
After Brian Roberts sank two from the line to put the Pelicans up 95-92, Sullinger's long-range jumper with Davis in his face was well off as time expired.
"Crediting New Orleans is the right thing to do because they hit three shots in a row that were big-time. Davis hit that left-handed hook, Evans hit a contested challenged runner and (Eric) Gordon banked one in [earlier]. Those shots were big shots that went in for them."
Boston trailed by eight early in the second half, but closed the gap via an 8-2 run that cut New Orleans' lead to 57-55 just past the midway mark of the third quarter. A Green triple followed by Bass' inside bucket sent the Celtics on top by a 63-62 count later in the frame, though the Pelicans would hold a 73-72 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Less than a minute into the final stanza, Anderson bumped into Boston's Gerald Wallace on an inbounds play and dropped to the floor. He remained down on the court for several minutes before having his neck immobilized by medical personnel, then left the arena on a stretcher and was transported to an area hospital.
Initial reports indicated Anderson sustained a cervical stinger from the collision.
"From that point on we just tried to win it for him," said Davis.
The Pelicans were down 30-28 four minutes into the second quarter before embarking on an 8-0 run led by backup center Greg Stiemsma, who accounted for six points during the surge. An Anderson 3-pointer near the end of the half staked New Orleans to a 49-41 advantage, though Boston closed within six at the break after Kris Humphries knocked down a jumper 14.7 seconds prior to intermission.
Stiemsma, who entered the contest with just 16 points in 10 games this season, contributed 12 on 6-of-7 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench ... Anderson had 13 points and seven rebounds prior to exiting ... Humphries led all players with 12 rebounds ... Boston, which was forced to travel home Friday morning due a snowstorm during Thursday night's game at Chicago, shot just 34.8 percent and went 7-of-29 on 3-point attempts ... The Pelicans have won in three straight visits to TD Garden and are 4-0 in their last four overall encounters with the Celtics.
01/03 23:34:41 ET
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