The Pelicans held off a late rally from the Lakers to grab a 105-97 win at the Staples Center on Sunday, scoring their first victory with All-Star DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup.
Anthony Davis piled up 21 points and nine rebounds, while Cousins tallied 26 points and 15 rebounds. New Orleans is three-and-a-half games behind the Nuggets for the eight seed in the Western Conference at 25-and-38.
Rookie Brandon Ingram had 16 points with six rebounds in the loss. The Lakers have lost seven straight to drop to 19-and-44.
New Orleans went up by 14 in the fourth period, but Los Angeles roared back with a 14-0 run. From there, the Pelicans closed the Western Conference matchup with eight unanswered points to account for the final margin.
Davis sank a 14-foot jumper with 1:44 left to give New Orleans a 99-97 edge, prior to Holiday knocking down a momentous deep three-pointer at 0:54 to make it a five-point margin. Holiday followed that with a steal, poking the ball away from Ingram.
“I think we’re growing each game. I think that’s obvious," Cousins said about the progress made by the Pelicans. In Cousins’ five New Orleans games, in chronological order, they’ve lost by 30, lost by 13, lost by 8, lost by 3 in OT, won by 8
“It felt good to finally get him a win," Davis said. "We’ve just got to build off of it (Monday), against a tough team in a tough environment.” The Pels see action in Utah Monday night.