Pelicans, minus Davis, hand Nets 8th straight loss, 104-95

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BOX SCORE

By JEFFREY BERNSTEIN

NEW YORK (AP) Even minus ANTHONY DAVIS, the New Orleans Pelicans made it a New York City sweep.

Playing without their All-Star center, the Pelicans got a season-high 29 points from TYREKE EVANS and 24 points and 12 rebounds from TERRENCE JONES as they defeated the reeling Brooklyn Nets 104-95 on Thursday night.

Davis sat out with a bruised left hip sustained during Monday night’s 110-96 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. He was on the floor for pregame warmups in Brooklyn, but didn’t shoot.

Davis is second in the NBA in scoring, averaging 29.1 points. He ranks sixth with more than 12 rebounds per game.

“With AD out, I knew I was going to have to bring a presence on the defensive end and defensive rebounding,” Jones said. “I just tried to help us get stops so we could get out and run in transition and get easy, early offense.”

JRUE HOLIDAY added 21 points and SOLOMON HILL had 14 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans (16-24), which closed the game on a 13-1 run. The Pelicans improved to 6-13 on the road by winning both games during their stay in the Big Apple.

BROOK LOPEZ led the Nets with 20 points and SEAN KILPATRICK added 18, but they’ve dropped eight straight and 13 of 14. Brooklyn (8-30) owns the worst record in the NBA.

Brooklyn led 94-91 after Lopez’s basket with 3:35 left, but didn’t score again until JOE HARRIS hit one of two free throws with 23 seconds to go for its final point.

“I thought TYREKE EVANS did a really good job attacking the basket. That’s kind of what he is,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “Defensively, we just locked in and did exactly what we needed to do down the stretch.”

Jones contributed six points in the 13-1 run to end the game, including the go-ahead basket with 2:44 remaining.

“I think it was a mix of us not executing and they had some guys who made some big-time plays,” Harris said. “Tyreke did really well late in the game. He took over.”

TREVOR BOOKER gave the Nets their largest lead, 56-48, with 1:51 left in the second quarter. Brooklyn used a 10-2 spurt in the third to open a 77-70 advantage and was ahead 79-73 heading into the fourth.

Evans tied it at 84 on a three-point play with 8:29 to go, and the score remained close until the Pelicans’ late surge.

“It’s tough because we gave ourselves a chance for so long in this game,” Lopez said.

Harris finished with 15 points, while CARIS LEVERT and BOJAN BOGDANOVIC each scored 10 for the Nets.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: BUDDY HIELD is the only New Orleans player to see action in all 40 games this season. He has started exactly half of them. … Nets GM Sean Marks played for New Orleans from 2008-10, appearing in 74 games and averaging 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds.

Nets: Booker returned to Brooklyn’s starting lineup after missing Tuesday’s loss to the Hawks with a bruised left hip. … Kilpatrick is the second-leading scorer (14.8 points per game) of any current undrafted NBA player. Only Wes Matthews of the Mavericks (15 ppg entering Thursday) has a higher average.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

The Pelicans spent nearly all week in New York City. “If we’re here any longer, we’re going to have to take out a small business meal loan to continue to eat,” Gentry said. “Obviously, this is a great city. You can do a million things here and have a million left to do.”

OH FOR 2017

The Nets have yet to win since the calendar turned to the new year. Brooklyn has won only once (on Dec. 26, 120-118 over Charlotte) in almost a month. The team’s previous win was a 107-97 victory over the Lakers on Dec. 14

EIGHT IS ENOUGH

The Nets’ eight-game losing streak ties the Pelicans, 76ers and Lakers for the longest in the NBA this season. However, Philadelphia has won four of five, the Pelicans have won two straight and the Lakers had won two of three before Thursday night’s loss in San Antonio.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: New Orleans visits Chicago on Saturday. The teams meet again in New Orleans on April 2. The Bulls have won four in a row in the series, sweeping the Pelicans in each of the last two seasons.

Nets: Brooklyn visits Toronto on Friday. The Nets lost 116-104 there on Dec. 20. The teams play again next Tuesday and next month (Feb. 5). The Raptors have won five straight in the series, including all four meetings last season.

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