LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Anthony Davis delivered a season-high 48 points and 17 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans snapped a five-game losing skid with a 114-112 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
Davis made the go-ahead jumper with 43 seconds remaining and the Mavericks failed to get off a shot on the final possession with four seconds left.
“We came out in the second half with a lot more energy on the defensive end and were able to come up with the win,’’ said Davis, who had 45 points and 15 rebounds in the same game for the ninth time in his NBA career.
Luka Doncic scored 34 points and hit seven of 10 from beyond the arc, and Harrison Barnes had 21 points for the Mavericks.
The Pelicans dominated in the paint, scoring 70 points, including 22 from Julius Randle.
Dallas outscored the Pelicans from long range in the first half, cruising to a 66-55 lead.
But Davis kept the Pelicans within striking distance with 22 first-half points on nine-of-15 shooting.
The Pelicans continued to chip away, outscoring Dallas 31-22 in the third quarter to pull within 88-86.
Elsewhere, Nikola Vucevic tallied 30 points and 20 rebounds as the Orlando Magic swatted the Toronto Raptors off their lofty perch with a 116-87 victory.
The Raptors came into the game with the best record in the NBA but dropped to 26-11 on the season to fall a couple percentage points back of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Magic led by as many as 31 points in the third quarter as they outscored Toronto 51-16 in a 16-minute span that began in the second.
D.J. Augustin had 17 points and six assists for Orlando, who snapped a five-game losing skid to the Raptors.
The Magic finished with five players in double figure scoring and outrebounded Toronto 60-41.
“It’s a strange one. I think if it started that way you would think ‘Oh, you didn’t come ready to play,’ but we were really sharp and moving the ball and popping it around and had a nice lead and probably should have had a bigger lead if we would have made more of our opportunities,’’ Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said.
Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points for the Raptors, who suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season.
Toronto played their second game without injured all-star Kyle Lowry. He has played only once since December 12 due to a back injury.
Serge Ibaka added 17 points and eight rebounds for Toronto, who shot just 29.5 percent from the floor in the final game of their three-game road trip.
“This is a big boy’s league. These nights happen,’’ Raptors Fred VanVleet said. ‘’We’re not the first team to lose like this. We bounce back. We’ve got a championship-calibre team. We’ll be alright.’’
Vucevic scored 12 points during a 21-6 run late in the first half that gave the Magic to a nine-point lead.
Augustin scored a half dozen consecutive points during a third-quarter burst that pushed Orlando’s lead to 68-51.
After making eight of their first 12 shots, the Raptors took a 19-9 lead. But Toronto made just 11 of its next 51 shots, until Leonard dunked late in the third quarter with Orlando leading 91-60.
In Phoenix, Russell Westbrook scored 15 of his season-high 40 points in the final seven minutes and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Phoenix Suns 118-102.