Collison lifts Pacers over Pelicans, 109-107
NEW ORLEANS— Darren Collison capped a 22-point performance with a 3-pointer, a 20-foot jumper with the shot clock winding down and a free throw during the final two minutes as the Indiana Pacers held off the depleted New Orleans Pelicans 109-107 on Monday night.
Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Myles Turner added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who won their second straight.
The Pelicans had the ball, down 109-106, in the final seconds after Indiana guard Aaron Holiday was called for an offensive foul. But then Corey Joseph reached out to foul Jrue Holiday before he could pull up for a 3-pointer, putting the Pelicans’ guard on the foul line for just two shots with two seconds left. Holiday made the first and purposely missed the second, but the Pelicans were unable to get the rebound they needed in order to attempt a tying shot.
The Pelicans, playing without five of their most productive players — including disgruntled All-Star Anthony Davis — have lost three straight. But each loss has been by six or fewer points to teams currently occupying playoff positions in the standings.
Jahlil Okafor had 25 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans. Jrue Holiday added 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Cheick Diallo had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Pelicans, who outrebounded the Pacers 55-43.
Ian Clark added 18 points and Darius Miller 16, but New Orleans had difficulty from deep, missing 29 of 38 3-point attempts.
Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young each scored 14 for Indiana.
New Orleans took its largest lead in the opening minutes, when it started the game on an 11-0 run that began with Miller’s four-point play after he was fouled by Bogdanovic on a 3.
But that lead was short-lived as Indiana responded with a 16-2 spurt that included back-to-back 3s by Collison and Bogdanovic.
After that, the Pelicans led only once more, at 17-16, on Clark’s jumper.
The Pacers gradually built their lead to 11 late in the third quarter, but New Orleans whittled it down and missed several late shots for the lead before Collison — a former New Orleans draft choice — closed out the victory for the Pacers.
Pacers: Coach Nate McMillan was assessed a technical foul by official Ray Acosta with 9:17 left in the fourth quarter. … F Doug McDermott missed his second straight game with bruised ribs. … Former Pelicans forward Tyreke Evans scored nine points and appeared to say something after one basket to former teammate Davis, who was on the bench in street clothes and appeared to laugh as Evans jogged past him. … Aaron Holiday, who periodically was matched up against his brother, had eight points.
Pelicans: Coach Alvin Gentry said Davis, who last week asked to be traded, has been “cleared to practice” as he recovers from a sprained left index finger that has sidelined him since the end of a loss at Portland on Jan. 18. … Gentry said he hopes by Wednesday that New Orleans’ more prominent regulars will return to the lineup. For the fourth straight game, the Pelicans played without not only Davis, but also forwards Julius Randle (right ankle sprain) and Nikola Mirotic (right calf strain), as well as guards Elfrid Payton (right ankle sprain) and E’Twaun Moore (bruised left quadriceps). … Gentry was assessed a technical foul by official Brian Forte with 7:15 left.
Pacers: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
Pelicans: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.