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Pelicans use late spurt to bury Timberwolves

Sports Xchange - Monday 20th March, 2017

NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis scored 28 points and keyed a 12-0, fourth-quarter run with a layup and two assists to power the New Orleans Pelicans to a 123-109 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday at the Smoothie King Center.

Jordan Crawford added 22 points off the bench for the Pelicans, who led 102-99 with 6:28 left after Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns slammed home a dunk. But over the next 3:01, New Orleans scored 12 straight to extend the advantage to 114-99 with 3:12 left.

The Pelicans, who won for the fourth time in five games, also got 21 points and seven assists from Jrue Holiday, 15 points and 11 rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins and 13 points from Solomon Hill. New Orleans (29-41) recorded 31 assists.

Towns led all scorers with 33 points, but Minnesota (28-41) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Crawford nailed back-to-back 3-pointers within 30 seconds to give the Pelicans a 94-86 lead and added a fall-away 15-foot baseline jumper to make it 96-88. Crawford made eight of his first 11 shots.

Davis and Holiday scored 10 points each and Cousins and Hill had seven apiece as the Pelicans scored 40 third-quarter points to take an 88-84 lead. New Orleans shot 71.4 percent in the period (15 of 21), as Davis and Cousins worked well off each other.

Cousins showed his passing ability with a soft lob from the free throw line to Davis down low, and Davis converted the easy layup in the first quarter.

But it was Minnesota showing how to share the basketball. The Timberwolves had 13 assists on 14 made field goals in the first quarter to propel them to a 34-28 lead.

The Wolves shot 65 percent in the first quarter (13 of 20), with Towns accounting for 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

Towns continued his offensive surge in the second quarter, making 7 of 10 shots, and Minnesota extended its lead to 50-37.

But New Orleans closed the second period with an 11-4 run to cut the halftime deficit to 54-48. Towns led Minnesota with 16 first-half points and Andrew Wiggins had 10. The Timberwolves shot 53.6 percent for the half.

The Pelicans were paced by Davis, who had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Crawford, who had seven points off the bench.

NOTES: The Timberwolves were on the verge of signing free agent F Omri Casspi, who was part of the trade that brought DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans. Casspi broke his thumb in his first game with the Pelicans on Feb. 23. The Pelicans expected Casspi to miss six weeks with the injury, prompting them to waive Casspi to fill a depleted roster. Coincidentally, Casspi is exactly what the Pelicans need -- an outside shooter -- and now he appears headed to Minnesota. "We're talking to him and hopefully we'll know shortly," said Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau. Asked if he had dinner with Casspi on Saturday night, Thibodeau said, "It's possible. We had a meeting." ... The Pelicans signed former Duke G Quinn Cook, the MVP of the NBA Development League All-Star Game, to a 10-day contract. He played one scoreless minute. ... New Orleans' Tim Frazier started at point guard, his 24th start of the season. He had three points and eight assists.

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