Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Pelicans crush Clippers to grab post-season spot

AP, LOS ANGELES

Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, right, dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers in their NBA game in Los Angeles, California, on Monday.

Photo: AP

Having clinched a playoff berth, Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans are looking ahead.

They are one of five teams in the mix for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and a win against the Spurs in their regular-season finale would give the Pelicans home-court advantage.

“We know we’re not done,” Davis said on Monday after scoring 28 points in a 113-100 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. “It wasn’t just our goal to get here, but to make some noise.”

Nikola Mirotic had 24 points and 16 rebounds in the Pelicans’ fourth straight victory.

They will be making just their second playoff appearance in seven years, having earned it without big man DeMarcus Cousins, who sustained a season-ending Achilles injury on Jan. 28.

The Pelicans proceeded to lose four of five before winning 10 in a row.

“When he went down, everybody on the team just picked it up,” Davis said.

Sindarius Thornwell scored 20 points off the bench, DeAndre Jordan had 15 rebounds and Montrezl Harrell added 15 points for the Clippers, who have lost three in a row while being eliminated from playoff contention.

The Pelicans shot 51 percent from the field and 56 percent from three-point range in the first half.

The Clippers fought back from an 11-point deficit to lead 47-45 before New Orleans closed on a 13-2 run to lead 59-49 at the break.

The Pelicans were just getting rolling.

Their scoring binge continued into the third and when it was over — a 33-6 spurt over both halves — they led 79-53.

Davis had nine points, Mirotic eight and E’Twaun Moore seven.

“Anthony has taken this team and put it on his back,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “If we could have had a better record his name would definitely be in the MVP conversation.”

Davis stirred the crowd with an off the glass pass from Rajon Rondo that resulted in a one-handed alley-oop dunk in the run.

“That was exciting,” teammate Jrue Holiday said. “I’d rather him do that in the playoffs than now.”

Thornwell got a roar for a jam over DeAndre Liggins in the final minutes.

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