Davis injured in Pelicans' victory over Knicks

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The New Orleans Pelicans overcame an injury to their star player, power forward Anthony Davis, to get a gritty 103-99 win over the New York Knicks before 19,812 at Madison Square Garden.

The Pelicans (8-8) played the last three quarters without Davis, who left the game in the first quarter with a non-displaced fracture of his left hand after hitting it on the rim on a lob.

Davis scored just seven points in 10:27 of action. How long he will be out was not immediately provided by Pelicans coach Monty Williams.

"I felt pain, but I didn't think it would keep me out," said Davis. "We got the win in a tough place to play. That's all that's important.

"Guys came in and stepped up and played big-time minutes and made great plays. We need that from our bench."

Power forward Ryan Anderson replaced Davis off the Pelicans' bench to score 31 points.

Forward Carmelo Anthony led five Knicks (3-13) in double-figure scoring with 23 points. He was followed by guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (21) and center Andrea Bargnani (17). Guards Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith had 12 points apiece.

Bargnani tied his career high with six blocked shots.

New York has lost nine straight, including six at home.

Davis' injury forced Williams to employ a smaller, but quicker, three-guard lineup. Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday were able to penetrate the Knicks interior, combining for 45 points and 18 assists.

The Knicks were ahead 93-88 with 6:24 remaining in the game, but the Pelicans used a 10-0 burst over the next 3:35 to slip away 98-93. Evans scored five of his 10 fourth-quarter points in the run and forward Al-Farouq Aminu's block of Hardaway's layup got the run going.

"I thought that Al-Farouq (Aminu) coming into the game in the second half, especially his defense on Carmelo (Anthony) was stellar," Williams said. "His ability to contest his (Anthony's) shot and then hold his position was huge."

Anthony's 3-pointer with 54.9 left cut the New Orleans lead to 102-99, but his 3-point attempt to tie it with 18.9 seconds fell short.

The Knicks took a season-high 35 3-point attempts, making just 13 (37.1 percent). Anthony struggled behind the arc, nailing just one of his seven long-range attempts.

"We have been struggling so badly at the 3-point line that shots look so appetizing," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. "We settled. It came down to our defense. We had so many breakdowns again on our on-the-ball defense.

"We are not taking pride in guarding. That was the difference in the game tonight."

The Pelicans subs contributed 24 of their team's 27 fourth-quarter points.

"It was a great win for us," said Williams. "Winning on the road for us as a young team and the way we won. We didn't have our best stuff in the first half and we were just trying to put it together in the second half."

The Pelicans led 76-74 after three quarters thanks to four 3-pointers from Anderson and six points from Holiday.

After Felton's 3-pointer tied it at 36-36 with 3:30 left in the half, the Knicks outscored New Orleans 13-8 to grab a 49-44 lead at the break.

Felton was an effective scorer for New York in the first half, scoring 10 points and registering five assists.

The Knicks led after the first quarter for the first time since Nov. 20 against Indiana, a game they ultimately lost. Bargnani dropped in six points and blocked three shots to help the Knicks to the 20-16 advantage.

NOTES: The Knicks shot just 42 percent from the floor during their recent four-game road trip. ... New York hasn't scored more than 100 points in seven straight contests. ... Knicks F Carmelo Anthony has led the team in scoring in all 16 games this season, the only player in the NBA to be his team's top scorer in every game. ... PF Kenyon Martin started his seventh straight game for the Knicks after playing limited minutes the first nine games of the season. He didn't score any points, but blocked three shots. ... The Pelicans are second in the league in steals per game with 9.73 per game. ... New Orleans F Anthony Davis' 3.87 blocks per game leads the NBA. Davis is seventh in rebounds per game (10.6).
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