Celts just miss against Pelicans
BOSTON — The New Orleans Pelicans lost forward Ryan Anderson early in the fourth quarter but went on to win a road game on Friday night.
Forward Anthony Davis scored 10 of his 23 points and had five of his eight rebounds in the fourth quarter to lead the Pelicans to a 95-92 victory over the fading Boston Celtics.
Anderson was taken off the court on a stretcher with 11:02 left after banging heads with Boston forward Gerald Wallace. Anderson, who had 13 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes, was on his back on the floor for more than five minutes, with players from both teams gathered around him for much of the time. He was alert and talking the entire time.
The news appeared to be good — word came he had suffered a cervical stinger. It was not known if he was transported to a hospital.
Wallace, the first Celtics player to go near Anderson as he was tended to, stood off to the side, with a towel in his mouth.
Anderson left to an ovation from the crowd.
Boston led by two when Anderson left but Davis scored five straight points to put the Pelicans back in front. The Celtics came right back to set up the finish.
The Celtics, losing another close one at home, led 88-85 on a jumper by guard Jordan Crawford with 3:27 left but didn’t score another basket. Davis hit a lefty running hook to put his team ahead to stay with 1:41 left.
Boston, losers of six of its last seven to fall to 13-20, had a last-second chance to tie, but forward Jared Sullinger missed a 3-pointers.
Guard Tyreke Evans came off the bench with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Pelicans improved to 15-16 with their fourth win in their last 10 games.
The Celtics grabbed a season-high 22 offensive rebounds to stay in the game, nine by Sullinger and six each by forwards Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries. Bass had 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting) and 11 total rebounds, while guard Avery Bradley scored 22 points and forward Jeff Green 16.
Crawford had 11 assists, but was just 2-for-14 from the floor.
The Celtics held an early five-point lead, but New Orleans led by five at the end of the first quarter and by six at the half. The Pelicans built their lead to eight 2:35 into the second half but the Celtics, down by five with 4:15 left in the third quarter, ran off eight straight points to regain the lead.
NOTES: Celtics coach Brad Stevens refused to use his team’s 1 p.m. arrival in Boston after a storm forced a sleepover in Chicago after Thursday night’s loss as an excuse heading into Friday’s game. “No excuses from our standpoint,” he said.
“We have a game to play. Whether we get in at 3 in the morning, whether we get in at 1 in the afternoon, we’ve got to play.” ... New Orleans was playing the second game of a four-game road trip, which continues in Indianapolis today and ends in Miami on Tuesday. .... The Celtics open a five-game western trip at Oklahoma City on Sunday night. ... Last year’s New Orleans visit saw rookie G Austin Rivers playing against his father’s team. But Doc Rivers is now coaching the Los Angeles Clippers, so the younger Rivers’ second visit was no big deal. ... The Pelicans came in with four players averaging over 15 points per game, the first time since 1992-93 that has happened.