Davis turns ankle, but Pelicans roll to 10th straight win
Anthony Davis has been at the heart of New Orleans’ franchise record-tying 10-game winning streak. It’s possible the Pelicans will have to go for No. 11 without their career scoring leader.
Davis scored 17 points before rolling his left ankle and leaving in the third quarter of a 114-101 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
Although X-rays taken on Davis’ ankle were negative, coach Alvin Gentry sounded cautious.
“Won’t know anything until tomorrow,” Gentry said. “They took X-rays but couldn’t really tell a lot from the X-rays, so we’ll go back home and I’m sure he’ll have an MRI at some stage tomorrow and we’ll have more information.”
Davis went down after battling Kosta Koufos for a rebound. The five-time All-Star winced and grabbed at his ankle before slowly getting to his feet. Davis remained in the game briefly before being taken to the Pelicans locker room with 3:11 left in the third. He did not return and appeared to be getting fitted for a walking boot after the game.
“I feel fine but they’ll have the team doctor look at it tomorrow and go from there,” Davis said. “Any time you twist an ankle it hurts, especially coming off somebody’s foot because you really don’t have any protection. It was sore. I just wanted to make sure everything was fine.”
New Orleans, which has played well since losing center DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending injury in January, kept rolling without Davis, although the Kings made a brief run late in the fourth.
Buddy Hield hit a 3-pointer to pull Sacramento within 103-94 with 3:12 left, but Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday both hit 3s and combined for 11 straight points to help the Pelicans pull away.
“We can do that against teams like this,” Davis said. “But to better ourselves we have to do a better job, at least when I was in there, to make sure that we execute our game plans and don’t play down to the level of our competition. We went out there and thought it was going to be an easy game.”
Mirotic scored 26 points with 10 rebounds, Holiday had 23 points and eight assists, and E’Twaun Moore added 15 points.
The 10-game winning streak matches the Pelicans’ franchise record set Jan. 9-26, 2011. New Orleans has scored 100 or more points in each of the wins, setting another team record.
Hield had 20 points while Zach Randolph added 19 points and five rebounds for Sacramento.
The Kings, who have lost six of eight, played the final 42 minutes without point guard De’Aaron Fox. He left early in the first quarter due to lower back stiffness.
“It seemed like everything was real difficult,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said. “We missed a lot of open shots also, which certainly would have helped.”
Ian Clark’s 16-foot jumper and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions capped a 12-4 run to end the first and put the Pelicans up 32-21.
With Davis getting a lengthy rest on the bench for most of the second quarter, New Orleans extended its advantage to 49-29 on another deep shot from Clark. Holiday later scored eight consecutive points and Davis added a late three-point play to help the Pelicans take a 62-44 halftime lead.
Mirotic made 10 of 12 shots and is shooting 56.3 percent over his last four games.
“I’ve been taking a lot of extra work to get my confidence back because I was (in) a little struggle in the beginning with my shots,” Mirotic said. “Now it seems that I did get my rhythm.”
The Pelicans get a break with eight of their next nine in New Orleans after playing eight of their past 11 on the road. They’re in the thick of the playoff race in the Western Conference.
“We knew that this would be a real difficult stretch,” Gentry said. “The thing that we wanted to do is just give ourselves an opportunity at the end of games to win on the road. We’ve done a good job with that.”
Pelicans: New Orleans has won seven straight road games, one shy of the franchise record set in 2007-08. … The Pelicans shot 60.9 percent (14 of 23) in the opening quarter.
Kings: Willie Cauley-Stein missed his third straight game with a lower back strain.
Pelicans: Host Washington on Friday night.
Kings: Host Orlando on Friday night.
More AP basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball