NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 25 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and two blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans won for only the second time in their first 11 games, 106-105 over the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
Langston Galloway scored a season-high 21 points, while Terrence Jones added 15 points and a season-high 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which has won two of three after an 0-8 start.
Isaiah Thomas scored 37 for Boston, including a driving scoop that tied the game with 7 seconds left. But Boston’s Kelly Olynyk fouled New Orleans guard Tim Frazier with 2.5 seconds left, and Frazier sank one free throw for the margin of victory.
Avery Bradley had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcus Smart scored 15 points for Boston, which squandered a critical possession when Frazier stole Smart’s inbound pass near New Orleans’ basket with 14 seconds left and the Pelicans clinging to a 104-103 lead. Frazier was fouled immediately and made one of two free throws to give New Orleans a brief two-point lead before Thomas tied it for the final time.
In part because the Celtics were out of timeouts and unable to advance the ball, they failed to get a decent shot off in the final 2 seconds after Frazier scored the final point. Boston’s first attempt to inbound the ball from its own baseline deflected out of bounds off New Orleans with a tenth of a second left. The Celtics then attempted a long inbound pass in hopes of a tip-in, but the inbound hit the rim and Smart’s attempted put-back in a crowd of players fighting for the ball was off the mark as the horn sounded.
Smart and coach Brad Stevens both questioned why no foul was called on New Orleans as time expired, but quickly relented and headed off the court.
New Orleans scored the first nine points of the second half and led by as many as 14 points when Dante Cunningham’s 3 made it 65-51.
But Boston slowly chipped away during the fourth quarter and took its first lead of the second half on Bradley’s driving layup along the baseline with 2:54 to go. Galloway answered with a transition jumper, but Thomas then hit a 27-foot 3 to put Boston up 102-100 with 1:57 to go. But Thomas later missed one of two free throws, leaving Boston’s lead at 103-102 with 33 seconds left.
Davis missed a driving runner on the other end, but the rebound came right back to him and he was fouled by Amir Johnson on his putback. Davis sank both free throws to put the Pelicans back up 104-103.
Celtics: Al Horford missed his seventh straight game because of concussion symptoms and it remains unclear when he’ll return. “I don’t want to put a timetable on it because I think it’s about how he feels day to day,” Stevens said. Stevens added that once the Celtics decided not to play Horford, they got him an early flight back to Boston so he could get more rest. … The Celtics shot 40 percent (38 of 95), below their 46.5 percent shooting through their first nine games.
Pelicans: Rookie shooting guard Buddy Hield made his first start in place of E’Twaun Moore. After tip-off, the Pelicans announced that Gentry had decided to give Moore the night off to rest a right big toe injury. … Galloway hit six of seven shots, including both 3-pointers he attempted, in the first half, when he scored 14 points.
Celtics: Hosts Dallas on Wednesday night.
Pelicans: Visit Orlando on Wednesday night.
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