NEW ORLEANS — Ryan Anderson felt sick during warmups prior to the Pelicans’ game Saturday night against Milwaukee.
A few hours made a big difference.
Anderson scored 23 points and tied a season-high with six 3-pointers while leading hot-shooting New Orleans to a 116-99 win over the Bucks.
"I was just thinking about getting through it with how bad I felt," he said. "I didn’t feel very good, but I had a ton of open looks because of the way that we moved the ball. It was just great basketball."
Anthony Davis had 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists for New Orleans, which hit a franchise best 17 of 31 3s. Jrue Holiday added 13 points and nine assists off the bench.
New Orleans trailed 71-69 after Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton scored 14 points in the first 9 minutes of the third quarter, but the Pelicans responded with a 31-14 run. Holiday, Toney Douglas, Tyreke Evans and Anderson all hit 3-pointers during that stretch, and Anderson’s sixth 3 giving the Pelicans a 100-83 lead with 6:30 left.
"That’s the best feeling just to be in a situation where you’re flowing so well that you’re impossible to guard," Anderson said. "There’s no really timeout or game plan that’s going to help."
Middleton and Greg Monroe each scored 22 points for Milwaukee, which had all five starters in double figures but got only 16 points from its reserves. The Bucks have lost two straight.
New Orleans, by contrast, had 57 points from its bench. Anderson hit a 3-pointer in transition soon after entering in the first quarter and never cooled down, adding two treys in the second quarter and two in the third.
Holiday, who also did not start, had seven of his nine assists in the second half when the Pelicans took over, including three in a row during the decisive spurt. The Pelicans outscored the Bucks 15-3 in the last 2:55 of the third quarter and went on a 10-0 run early in the fourth.
"We had a hard time getting out to cover their 3-point shots and they got hot from behind the line," Monroe said. "We have to communicate better and do a better job of running people off the line and stay in our rotations at the same time."
Middleton’s burst early in the third quarter came on an array of outside shots, but he had only one field goal the rest of the way.
After trailing 23-22 at the end of the first quarter, New Orleans had at least 30 points in each of the final three quarters. The Pelicans had assists on 21 of their 24 baskets in the second half, finishing with a season-high 33.
They’ve won four out of five for the first time this year and are trying to recover from a 12-26 start.
"The last few that we’ve won, it’s been about ball movement," Davis said.
The Pelicans outscored the Bucks by 32 in Holiday’s 24:52 on the court while he created one open shot after the other. He also hit 6 of 11 from the floor.
"I’ve never seen that before (a plus-32)," Holiday said. "We were knocking down shots, and it started when they were double- and triple-teaming AD (Davis)."
ANOTHER LINEUP CHANGE
Forward Dante Cunningham sat out with a stomach illness, giving the Pelicans their 20th starting lineup in 43 games this season. Alonzo Gee and Davis started at forward, Norris Cole and Evans at guard and Omer Asik at centre. Cole started for the second straight time in place of Eric Gordon after Gordon had surgery for a fractured ring finger.
LAST GAME FOR PRUNTY
Bucks acting head coach Joe Prunty finished 8-9 in his stint filling in for Jason Kidd, who has been out since the third week of December following hip surgery. Kidd, who was 11-18 before being sidelined, will return to the bench for Milwaukee’s game against Orlando on Tuesday night.
Bucks: Milwaukee has lost 14 in a row in New Orleans dating to Jan. 7, 2003. … Milwaukee committed 18 turnovers to the Pelicans’ eight. … The Bucks were assessed two technical fouls, one for illegal defence and another when forward John Henson argued a call. … Monroe had a double-double with 11 rebounds.
Pelicans: Gee had 12 points by the end of the third quarter for his first double-figures scoring game of the year. … New Orleans won its fourth in a row at home, a season-best streak.
Bucks: Host Orlando on Tuesday night.
Pelicans: Host Houston on Monday night.