Pelicans 110, Trail Blazers 108

Peter Finney Jr., The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS -- Sixth man Tyreke Evans nailed an 18-foot jumper with 1.9 seconds left, and point guard Jrue Holiday exploded for 15 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter, lifting the New Orleans Pelicans to a 110-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night at the New Orleans Arena.
Evans' game-winner, which gave the guard 20 points for the game, came after Portland point guard Damian Lillard tied the game with a 28-foot 3-pointer that rattled around the rim and fell in with 10.9 seconds left.
The Pelicans (14-15) pushed the ball up court, and Evans found himself alone against Blazers guard Mo Williams on the right side of the court.
Portland, which lost for the third time in five games to drop to 24-7, got 29 points from Lillard and 28 from forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
Forward Anthony Davis scored 27 points for the Pelicans.
With the Pelicans clinging to a 94-92 lead, Holiday scored New Orleans' next eight points. Then after a Portland miss, Holiday found Davis with a soft alley-oop feed under the basket for a layup and a 104-100 lead with 2:56 left. It was Holiday's 13th and final assist of the game.
Williams nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner to cut New Orleans' lead to 106-105 with 1:50 left.
The Pelicans led 89-82 after three, but Portland scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter -- five by Wesley Matthews -- to tie the game, 89-89, on Aldridge's 18-foot jumper. The Pelicans fueled the rally by committing three turnovers and missing three shots on their first six possessions.
Holiday then heated up. He hit a spinning layup over Aldridge, but Aldridge responded with a 12-footer, and Portland forward Nicolas Batum hit a free throw to tie the game, 98-98, with 5:35 left.
New Orleans shot 53.9 percent from the floor and outrebounded Portland 47-38. The Blazers shot 44.3 percent.
NOTES: Pelicans C Greg Stiemsma, sidelined since Nov. 12 due to a left knee sprain, returned to action Monday. Stiemsma played in just eight games, averaging two points and 4.6 rebounds, but at 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, he adds beef to the lineup. ... Pelicans coach Monty Williams, who was a Blazers assistant coach when PF LaMarcus Aldridge arrived in Portland, said Aldridge has become "maybe the best power forward in the game." He advises second-year Pelicans PF Anthony Davis to watch Aldridge closely on tape. ... Williams said Portland PG Damian Lillard has ridiculous range on his jump shot. "He'll shoot it from 5 feet behind the 3 (point arc)," Williams said. "He's one of the few point guards who can make that shot 28 feet from the basket. He shoots it with confidence." ... Pelicans G Eric Gordon sat out again due to a right hip bruise. New Orleans F/C Jason Smith missed the game with a left shoulder injury.

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