DENVER (AP) — Jrue Holiday scored 29 points, Julius Randle had 28 and the New Orleans Pelicans rallied from 19 points down in the first half to beat the Denver Nuggets 120-112 on Saturday night.
Frank Jackson added 16 points for the Pelicans, who were without Anthony Davis (rest) and E’Twaun Moore (thigh).
Nikola Jokic had 20 points but was limited to 6:23 in the first half because of early foul trouble. Jamal Murray also had 20 points for Denver. It was the biggest blown lead of the season for the Nuggets, who have lost consecutive home games for the first time since early November. They lost 111-104 to Utah on Thursday night.
New Orleans took a 111-102 lead with 7:12 remaining on a 3-pointer by Holiday. Denver fought back within five points with just under a minute remaining but a turnover by Gary Harris denied the Nuggets a chance to get closer and Holiday converted a three-point play with 20.6 seconds left to play to seal the win for the Pelicans.
The Pelicans used a 13-2 run to take an 82-81 lead, heir first since the game’s opening moments, on Holiday’s layup with 7:03 left in the third quarter. New Orleans led 96-93 going into the fourth on Cheick Diallo’s dunk in the final moments of the third off Elfrid Payton’s alley oop pass over a Denver defense that was slow to get back against a New Orleans fastbreak.
The Nuggets led by 19 points early in the second quarter but settled for a 71-67 lead at the half. After Isaiah Thomas hit a 10-foot floating jumpshot to put Denver up 49-30, New Orleans outscored the Nuggets 37-22 over a nearly 10-minute stretch during a 40-point second quarter to get back in the game. It was the eighth time this season the Pelicans have scored 40 or more points in a quarter.
Pelicans: F/C Anthony Davis was given the night off. Coach Alvin Gentry said before the game that Davis was dealing with a bit of the flu. ... G E’Twaun Moore was held out of the game with a thigh issue. ... G Dairis Bertans has been signed out of the EuroLeague.
Nuggets: F Trey Lyles remains sidelined by a left hamstring strain. He has missed the last five games.
Pelicans: At Utah on Monday night
Nuggets: At San Antonio on Monday night to open a three-game trip.