Pelicans pass Thunder and go into eighth spot in West
NEW ORLEANS – Anthony Davis scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half, including two free throws with nine seconds left, and New Orleans moved into eighth place in the Western Conference with a 103-100 victory over Golden State on Tuesday night. Stephen Curry scored 25 points, hitting five three-pointers, but his final attempt that would have tied the score went in and out.
That enabled the Pelicans to move back into the West's last playoff spot by a half-game over Oklahoma City, which lost to San Antonio.
Now New Orleans, which has not participated in the postseason since 2011, has five games left to hold on to a playoff spot and owns a tiebreaker over the Thunder.
•SPURS BEAT THUNDER: Kawhi Leonard matched a career high with 26 points, and San Antonio rolled past Oklahoma City 113-88 for its eighth consecutive victory. The defending NBA champions have won each game during their streak by double digits and by an average of 20.9 points. Russell Westbrook scored 17 points for the Thunder, which lost its fourth in a row and fell a half-game behind New Orleans for the No. 8 spot in the West.
•HAWKS SET FRANCHISE RECORD: Atlanta set a single-season franchise high with its 58th victory, getting 16 points each from DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague in a 96-69 victory over Phoenix. Roseville's Mike Muscala, starting for injured All-Star forward Paul Millsap, finished with 16 points and Al Horford added 14 for the Hawks. The Suns missed 31 of 40 shots from the field in the second half to score a season low. Gerald Green, with 15 points, was the only Phoenix player to score in double figures. Eric Bledsoe, ejected in the third quarter for arguing with officials, led the Suns' starters with nine points.
•DRAGIC SPARKS HEAT: Goran Dragic scored 28 points, his most since coming to Miami in a February trade, and the Heat helped its playoff chances by topping Charlotte 105-100. Luol Deng scored 21 for the Heat, which stopped a four-game losing streak. Dwyane Wade had 19 and Hassan Whiteside added 12 on 6-for-8 shooting for Miami.