Pelicans clobber lowly Grizzlies to tighten grip on last spot in West playoff race
Anthony Davis gets a shot off against three Memphis defenders. AP

NEW ORLEANS — E'Twaun Moore scored 30 points, and Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds in a return to form to help the New Orleans Pelicans rout the Memphis Grizzlies, 123-95, on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time).

Davis struggled in the previous two games after twisting an ankle in a loss to Portland on March 27. In subsequent losses to Cleveland and Oklahoma City, he averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds while making 39 percent of his shots. For the season, Davis has averaged 28.1 points and 11.1 rebounds while making 53.5 percent of his shots.

On Wednesday he made 8 of 13 field goals, 11 of 13 free throws and had three blocks and two steals.

The eighth-place Pelicans ended a season-worst four-game losing streak and increased their lead over idle Denver to a full game for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Both teams have four games remaining, and Denver has the tiebreaker after winning the season series.

Nikola Mirotic added 25 points, and Jrue Holiday had 15 points for New Orleans.

MarShon Brooks scored 25 points, and Ivan Rabb had 16 for the Grizzlies. They have the second-worst record in the NBA.

The Pelicans made 16 of 36 3-pointers and the Grizzlies made 10 of 31.

Davis had 14 points and five rebounds as New Orleans took a 32-23 lead after one quarter.

Moore had 13 second-quarter points as the Pelicans increased their lead to 65-53 at halftime.

Mirotic scored seven points as New Orleans began the third quarter with an 18-6 run to take command with an 83-59 lead.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Memphis lost for the 26th time in its last 29 nine games and for the 31st time in its last 34 road games. ... The Grizzlies fell behind 10-0 as they failed to score until Dillon Brooks made a jumper with 8:42 left in the first quarter.

Pelicans: Rajon Rondo had a game-high 13 assists. ... The Pelicans head out for their final trip of the regular season, playing their next three games away from home. It's their first multiple-game trip in four weeks. ... Mirotic replaced Emeka Okafor in the starting lineup. ... The Pelicans won at home for the second time against the Grizzlies, who won the two meetings in Memphis.

PELICANS' CLARK INJURED

Pelicans G Ian Clark, who had emerged as one of the team's top reserves, left the game for good in the second quarter after injuring his right ankle on a drive to the basket. X-rays were negative. Clark had scored in double figures in seven of his previous 12 games.

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Grizzlies: Hosts Sacramento on Friday night.

Pelicans: At Phoenix on Friday night.

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