NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Down 22 points in the third quarter to the surging Brooklyn Nets, the New Orleans Pelicans appeared headed to a lopsided defeat. That's when Tyreke Evans turned the game around.
Evans scored 22 of his season-high 33 points in the second half and the short-handed Pelicans rallied to win 109-104 in overtime Monday night.
Driving to the basket repeatedly, Evans scored 14 as New Orleans closed the third period on a 29-10 run to get back in the game. Anthony Morrow, who did not score until the final 2 minutes of regulation, had 11 points the rest of the way as the Pelicans completed their largest comeback of the season and the second-biggest in franchise history.
"I was just being aggressive," Evans said. "That's what kept me going, especially before their defense set up. I was just playing my game. We could have easily given up tonight, but coach (Monty Williams) got on us in the locker room."
Morrow hit a 3-pointer to give New Orleans a 106-100 lead in overtime and all but sealed the victory with another 3 that made it 109-102 with 54.5 seconds left.
Anthony Davis added 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Pelicans, who matched their season best with a three-game winning streak despite playing without Eric Gordon (left knee tendinitis) for the second consecutive game.
Paul Pierce had 24 points and Deron Williams 23 for the Nets, who lost for the first time in five games after winning at Dallas in overtime Sunday. Brooklyn fell behind 98-93 with 1:14 left in regulation but scored the next five points to force overtime.
"We had an opportunity to win the game," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "It went into overtime, and we just couldn't get it back."
This one appeared over when the Nets went up 66-44 early in the third quarter, but Brian Roberts started the rally with a 3-pointer and Evans scored New Orleans' next eight points to help the Pelicans close the deficit to 67-59.
Williams and Joe Johnson hit consecutive 3s as the Nets went back up 74-61, but the Pelicans closed with a 12-2 spurt that started when Pierce was given a technical foul for confronting Alexis Ajinca after Ajinca was called for an offensive foul with a high elbow.
Evans converted a four-point play with 1.1 seconds left, hitting a long shot while being fouled to cut the deficit to 76-73 entering the fourth. It was only his 17th 3 in 77 attempts.
"It was just confidence," he said. "I had it going at the time, and it was a rhythm shot. I didn't think about it, and it went in. It got the crowd going, and we fed off that."
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