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Pelicans rally to top Raptors

Feb 24, 2015 - 5:18 AM New Orleans, LA ( - Luke Babbitt had 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench, Omer Asik added 14 points and 11 boards and the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans edged the Toronto Raptors 100-97 on Monday night.

The Pelicans trailed by as many as 18 in the first half, but a pair of Babbitt 3-pointers preceded a Tyreke Evans driving layup from the right wing for a 96-93 advantage with 1:23 remaining.

Kyle Lowry answered with a short jumper in the paint and two free throws on consecutive possessions to put Toronto back in front. The pendulum swung back in New Orleans' favor when Evans found Alexis Ajinca for a layup to put it ahead 98-97 with 50.5 seconds to play.

Lowry was off the mark on a jumper and so was Evans. Asik then blocked Lowry on a drive to the hoop with 6.2 ticks on the clock and Jimmer Fredette sunk a pair of foul shots to make it 100-97 with 4.7 seconds to go.

Lowry's leaning left wing triple at the buzzer clanked off the front of the rim.

New Orleans announced Sunday that Davis could miss up to two weeks with a sprained right shoulder. Davis re-injured his shoulder in the first quarter of Saturday's 105-91 win over Miami when he collided with 7-foot Heat center Hassan Whiteside while going up for a shot in the paint.

Ajinca finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Evans supplied 13 points and 12 assists for the Pelicans, who have won two straight on the heels of a four-game losing streak.

"We have to keep fighting. That was the thing I told the guys at halftime (Toronto) is a really good team, but I thought if we stayed with it, we'd give ourselves a chance. Guys put their heads down. Once we started to get our spirit back, we had a chance to compete," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.

Lowry netted 22 points to go with five assists and Jonas Valanciunas posted 17 points and 14 boards for Toronto, which has dropped consecutive contests after winning four in a row.

"They played harder than us," Lowry said of the second half.

The Raptors raced out to a 10-2 advantage and led 28-17 following a quarter of play before going into the locker room with a 56-44 cushion.

They were up 74-67 after three, but a 10-2 run early in the fourth clawed New Orleans within two. Norris Cole poured in seven points during the surge, which he capped with a layup to make it 79-77.

Toronto, though, responded with an 8-2 spurt to extend the margin to 87-79.

Game Notes

The Pelicans improved to 3-5 this season when Davis doesn't play ... New Orleans snapped a four-game home losing skid ... New Orleans ended a six-game losing stretch with a win at Toronto last month ... Cole had 15 points and six assists.