NEW ORLEANS (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points and 15 rebounds and Anthony Davis added 25 points and 10 rebounds to help the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Los Angeles Clippers 111-103 on Saturday night.
Jrue Holiday had eight assists for New Orleans, half of the total assists generated by the entire Clippers team. The Pelicans also overcame 23 turnovers. Cousins lost the ball eight times — two on offensive fouls — and Holiday had seven turnovers.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 27 points, but it came on 9-of-27 shooting. DeAndre Jordan has 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The game would likely have been a blowout were it not for the Pelicans turnovers, which kept the Clippers within striking distance until the final minutes.
Cousins and Davis were too much for the Clippers, particularly an artful fadeaway jumper by Cousins from 15 feet with 8 minutes left that put the Pelicans up by 10. Almost 2 minutes later, Cousins ripped down a rebound and launched a coast-to-coast pass to Davis for a dunk.
Austin Rivers managed to keep the Clippers in the game with 11 fourth-quarter points.
Point guard Rajon Rondo, the Pelicans’ major offseason free-agent acquisition, is a week to 10 days from making his team debut.
“He’s close to doing it and everything seems to be going along fine,” coach Alvin Gentry said. “We’re not trying to push the issue at all.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said his view that too many fouls are being called this year is, in essence, a structural issue with the league.
“This day and time, they look at each other wrong, it’s a foul. I don’t know how they even play against each other anymore. It’s so difficult,” he said. “I don’t even blame the officials. There’s so much to call.”
Clippers: Griffin had his 2,000th career assist with a pass to Sindarious Thrornwell early in the first quarter. … Guard Patrick Beverley missed his second game in a row due to a sore right knee. … Rivers and assistant coach Sam Cassell were hit with technical fouls in the fourth.
Pelicans: Guard/forward Tony Allen did not play, leaving the Pelicans without the services of six players. Gentry said Allen was pulled for rest. … Though he leads the league in charges taken with five, Cousins had two offensive fouls in the first quarter. … Forward Cheick Diallo, who hass shuffled between the Pelicans and the G-League since being drafted last season, looked sharp off the bench with nine points and six rebounds.
Clippers: Host Philadelphia on Monday night.
Pelicans: Host Atlanta on Monday night.
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