Pelicans clip Celtics, 95-92

Pelicans clip Celtics, 95-92
January 3, 2014, 10:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

BOSTON — The mood was a somber one for the Boston Celtics and it had little to do with their 95-92 loss to New Orleans.

Avery Bradley had a potential go-ahead shot into the lane that was off the mark, as was the potential tip-in that was ultimately hauled in by Anthony Davis.

New Orleans' Brian Roberts, who had not missed a free throw all season (he was 20-for-20), made another pair with 6.4 seconds to play that gave the Pelicans a 3-point lead.

After a Celtics time-out, Jared Sullinger launched a 3-pointer that was well off the mark.

The Pelicans grabbed the rebound as time expired.

Just 59 seconds into the fourth quarter, Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson went down after a collision with Boston's Gerald Wallace, resulting in Anderson falling to the floor from what team officials said was a cervical stinger.

Anderson, who had 13 points off the bench, was carted off on a stretcher to a nearby hospital for observation and more tests.

At the time of Anderson's injury, it was a one-point game.

And for the bulk of the game's final minutes, it remained a one-possession game with neither team showing the ability to pull away and take control.

Both teams seemed intent on getting the ball as often as possible in the hands of their bigs.

For the Celtics, that meant lots of feeds into the paint to Jared Sullinger. While he struggled most of the game making shots (, he was able to spend a good deal of time on the free throw line where he was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line.

He finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double this season.

And the Pelicans were being carried down the stretch by Anthony Davis, whose left-handed hook shot put New Orleans ahead 91-90 with 1:41 to play. He finished with 23 points and eight rebounds.

The first quarter was a relatively close contest, but the Pelicans closed it out with a 14-4 run to lead 22-17.

Sparking the Pelicans was Anthony Davis who is slowly but surely developing into one of the more dominant young bigs in the NBA.

Boston's bench has been coming up big of late, especially in the second quarter of games.

It didn't take them very long, about two minutes actually, before Boston's backups had the scored tied at 26 and briefly went ahead on two separate occasions.

But the Pelicans have a formidable second unit as well, led by Tyreke Evans who is a former league Rookie of the Year award winner.

He scored six of his 14 points off the bench in the second quarter which helped propel the Pelicans to a 49-43 halftime lead.