Pelicans 135, 76ers 98

Peter Finney Jr., The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS -- Playing just 29 minutes, forward Anthony Davis scored 13 points and had a career-high eight blocks and nine rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans placed eight players in double figures to rout the Philadelphia 76ers 135-98 Saturday night at the New Orleans Arena.
The second-year pro might have had a chance for his first career double-double, but coach Monty Williams pulled him with 3:15 left in the third quarter as the Pelicans were well on their way to the blowout, leading 95-61. The Pelicans' biggest lead was 101-62 late in the third quarter.
Forward Ryan Anderson, playing for the first time since breaking a toe just before the season opener, nailed six 3-pointers in 10 attempts and led all scorers with 26 points.
Guards Eric Gordon had 19 points and Tyreke Evans 15 for New Orleans. Former 76ers guard Jrue Holiday, traded to New Orleans in the offseason, burned his ex-teammates with 14 points and 12 assists. Guard Brian Roberts had 14 points, guard Austin Rivers had 12 and forward Al-Farouq Aminu had 10 for the Pelicans (4-6), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
After leading 15-14, Philadelphia (5-6) allowed the Pelicans to run off 20 of the next 27 points and never threatened. The 76ers, who were paced by guard Tony Wroten with 18 points, lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Anderson provided the missing link in the Pelicans' second-team scoring offense. He entered the game with 5:48 left in the first quarter and hit his first of three perimeter jumpers -- two 3-pointers and a 15-footer -- to key a 15-2 surge that put New Orleans on top 29-17.
Holiday, who was traded to New Orleans from the 76ers on draft night, also seemed focused in his first game against his former team, notching six first-quarter assists in directing the Pelicans to a 34-22 lead. Davis also had five blocked shots in the first quarter, tying a franchise record for most blocks in a quarter.
Using a sticky defense that forced the 76ers into quick misses, the Pelicans used a 27-9 spurt in the first 7:36 of the second quarter to grab a 61-31. Evans led the way by scoring nine of his 14 first-half points in the quarter, flashing the extra quickness he has picked up from losing 12 pounds over the last three weeks after being hobbled with a sprained ankle.
Philadelphia cut into the big deficit with a 9-0, getting five points from forward Thaddeus Young, but the 76ers still trailed 67-46 at the half. The 67 points were the Pelicans' season high for a half.
NOTES: Pelicans F Ryan Anderson, who missed the first nine games of the season with a chip fracture of the second toe on his right foot, returned to action. "I'm really excited to get back out there," said Anderson, a legitimate 3-point threat who was New Orleans' leading scorer (16.2 ppg) last season. "We've started off games extremely well. We've shown we can play with any team. I think it's just maintaining that (level), and if I can do anything to help, that's great." ... The 76ers were without rookie G Michael Carter-Williams for the third consecutive game with a bruised left foot. ... Pelicans coach Monty Williams said he's been pleased with the draft-night trade that brought All-Star PG Jrue Holiday from Philadelphia to New Orleans, but he hopes Holiday can begin protecting the ball better. Holiday is averaging 4.1 turnovers per game, is shooting just 39.8 percent and has a 1.65 assist-to-turnover ratio -- career lows. "He's figuring some things out," Williams said. "He'll be the first to tell you he wants to get his turnovers down. That will come with familiarity." ... 76ers coach Brett Brown said he wants his team, which opened the season 3-0, to get better at "everything." "We have to preach ball movement and sharing the ball," Brown said. "Good to great -- that's a good shot, that's a great shot."

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