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Gordon's late layup lifts Pelicans over Pistons
Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Gordon's layup with 1.9 seconds left lifted the New Orleans Pelicans to a 103-101 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday.
The Pelicans trailed 93-83 with 5:56 left, but used a 16-5 run to go up 99-98 with 1:19 to go. A pair of Greg Monroe free throws made it 101-98 with just over 30 seconds left.
Rodney Stuckey was fouled as he drove to the hoop on the other side and knocked down the first free throw, but his second attempt rimmed out. Josh Smith was there to grab the miss and kicked it out to Brandon Jennings, who couldn't get a 3-pointer to go, but Smith was there once again to clean up the miss, and this time got a layup to fall with 19 seconds remaining to tie the game.
After a timeout, Gordon took the ball at the top of the key and dribbled the clock down. Gordon started to his left and got Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to bite on a crossover before spinning back to his right and getting a teardrop layup to fall over Smith's outstretched arms.
"Eric has been in that situation before for us, and come through," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams.
The Pistons had two timeouts remaining, but elected not to use one before time expired.
"I'm not going to leave that up to them (the players). I don't know if we would have made the shot or not, but I'm not going to leave it up to them to call a timeout. It was my responsibility to get a timeout," said Pistons head coach Mo Cheeks.
Gordon finished with 15 points, while Anthony Morrow poured in a team-high 21. Austin Rivers scored 15 off the bench, Anthony Davis scored 14 and pulled down eight rebounds and Brian Roberts finished with 13 for the Pelicans, winners in two of their last three after dropping eight in a row.
"Opportunity came and I took advantage of it. I had to be ready for whatever minutes I had," Morrow said.
Jennings scored a game-high 28 points and Andre Drummond scored 21 points and pulled down 20 boards for the Pistons, losers in three straight.
The Pelicans trailed 40-33 with 7:56 remaining in the first half, but used a 17-2 run to take a 50-42 edge with 3:26 left. Rivers led a balanced attack with five points and Davis chipped in with four on the flurry, which saw New Orleans finish a perfect 6-for-6 from the field while holding Detroit to just 1-of-9 efficiency. The Pelicans took a 54-48 lead into the break.
New Orleans took a 58-48 lead just under a minute into the third, but the Pistons scored 11 unanswered points to take a 59-58 lead. Detroit kept its foot on the gas from there, outscoring the Pelicans 19-4 to cap a 30-4 run that put the hosts ahead 78-62. The Pelicans managed to cut the deficit to single digits, 80-71, entering the final frame.
Jennings went 9-for-10 from the free throw line en route to 18 third-quarter points.
New Orleans shot 50.7 percent (37-for-73) from the field and 91.7 percent (22- for-24) from the free throw line ... The Pelicans bench outscored the Pistons reserves 45-17 ... Drummond had 10 offensive rebounds ... Caldwell-Pope had 14 points and Smith finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
01/24 22:50:54 ET