for this game

Davis leads Pelicans into showdown with Nets

Mar 10, 2015 - 12:26 PM ( - Anthony Davis has the hot hand for the New Orleans Pelicans, who will continue their postseason pursuit Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

Davis is back at the arena that held All-Star Game festivities with Madison Square Garden, but couldn't contribute during the weekend extravaganza because of a shoulder injury.

The shoulder seems to be healed for Davis, who is averaging 33.5 points and 11.8 rebounds in his last four games. He was at his best in Monday's 114-103 road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks and matched a career-high with 43 points on 17-of-23 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks.

"Anthony played great," Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams said. "He's an All-Star and he showed that tonight. The next time we play him we have to do a better job on him if we want to win."

Milwaukee took a 101-100 lead with 3:36 remaining on a jumper by Giannis Antetokounmpo. But Davis scored eight straight points as New Orleans closed the game on a 14-2 run.

"I just tried to come out aggressive and make everyone around me better. And when the opportunity was there to score, I just tried to," Davis said.

Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, for the Pelicans, who shot a sizzling 58.7 percent from the floor and are winners in eight of their last 10 games. New Orleans did commit 18 turnovers and Evans left the game with an ankle injury. Evans is day-to-day and second on the team with 16.8 points (Davis, 24.7 ppg).

The Pelicans are 13-18 on the road and sit just a half-game behind Oklahoma City for the eighth seed in the West. They will have a nice rest before hosting Denver and Milwaukee.

Brooklyn will close out a five-game homestand and has lost the last three tests on the stay after an improbable win in the opener versus Golden State.

The Nets fell to the Utah Jazz, 95-88, on Sunday, as Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors scored 24 and 22 points, respectively, for the visitors. Utah had a 43-30 advantage in rebounds.

Brook Lopez had 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, while Thaddeus Young also scored 19 points for Brooklyn, which made 50 percent of its shots and came up short down the stretch.

Down by seven with 6:37 to play, Lopez scored six straight points to pull the Nets within one. He had a chance to complete a three-point play and tie the game, but missed the free throw.

At the other end of the floor, Hayward drained a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run that left Brooklyn down by 11 with less than 3 1/2 minutes remaining. The Nets would not get within seven points the rest of the way.

"Utah did a great job controlling the pace," said Nets coach Lionel Hollins. "We had been scoring a lot of points."

The Nets are 11-18 at Barclays Center and will start a four-game road trip Wednesday against Miami with trips to Philadelphia, Minnesota and Cleveland on the docket.

Brooklyn is 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in the East and recently suffered a 102-96 loss in the Big Easy on Feb. 25. Davis did not play in that one for the Pelicans, who have prevailed in each of the last two games in this series following a three-game slide.