TYREKE Evans took charge in the second half for a New Orleans Pelicans team without star Anthony Davis to deal the Brooklyn Nets their eighth straight loss, 104-95, at the Barclays Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time)
Evans scored 21 of his 29 points after the break to help the Pelicans overcome a slow start against a Nets team poised to break its long slump early on in the game.
Trailing by six entering the fourth, Pelicans got off to a 16-7 start to retake the lead, 89-86, with more than seven minutes left, setting up a thrilling finish between the two teams before New Orleans pulled away with an 11-1 run in the last three minutes.
Evans scored on the drive and set up Terrence Jones for the flush to give New Orleans a 99-94 lead with 1:40 remaining. He again connected with Jones for another crucial bucket before getting a steal off Brook Lopez to take the fight from the Nets, as the Pelicans sank their free throws down the stretch.
Davis sat out due to a hip injury and the Nets looked to capitalize early, leading by as much as seven in the second quarter, where they outscored the Pelicans 26-16 to carry a 57-51 lead at the half.
Jones also stepped up his game in the absence of Davis to register a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Jrue Holiday added 21 markers to help New Orleans win two in a row and improve to 16-24.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points and Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 off the bench, but the Nets still fell to 8-30 with the loss. Joe Harris chipped in 15 markers.