LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles forward Anthony Davis shrugged off the boos that greeted his return to New Orleans on Wednesday, scoring 41 points to power the Lakers to a 114-110 NBA victory over the Pelicans.
“Man it feels so good,” said Davis, who finished his night by grabbing an attempted inbounds pass from New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday with 4.2 seconds left and then sinking two free throws to close out the come-from-behind win.
Los Angeles had trailed by as many as 16 early in the third quarter but opened the fourth on a 9-0 scoring run as they trimmed the deficit to one point.
Kyle Kuzma’s three-pointer knotted the score at 91-91, but the Pelicans pushed their lead back to four points before Davis returned from treatment on his right elbow and stuffed a dunk off a pass from LeBron James.
The Lakers took the lead for good when Kuzma drained a three-pointer to make it 111-109 with 1:07 to play.
“They made shot after shot, big shots,” said Davis, who was booed by Pelicans fans in the opening introductions and every time he touched the ball thereafter. “We showed our resiliency tonight and we were able to get the win.”
Davis had plenty of support from his Lakers teammates and that included James.
“We understood,” said James, who scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and handed out 11 assists. “Any time you go back to a place where you made a mark ... you want to come back and play well and you want to win.”
In doing so, the Lakers won their ninth straight and improved their league-leading record to 16-2.
Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving didn’t make it back to Boston for a scheduled rematch with his former team.
He cast a long shadow at TD Garden, but it was Boston guard Kemba Walker who starred in the Celtics’ 121-110 triumph.
The game would have been Irving’s first in Boston since he departed the Celtics as a free agent in the off season.
But he missed a seventh straight contest with a shoulder injury — an absence greeted with skepticism by many Boston fans who chanted “Where is Kyrie?” and “Kyrie Sucks!” as the contest got underway.
Walker, who took over Irving’s job in Boston, scored a season-high 39 points. That included 13 in the third quarter, when Boston rallied from an eight-point deficit with 10:05 to play in the period.
In Memphis, the Los Angeles Clippers ground out a 121-119 victory over the Grizzlies to stretch their win streak to seven games.
In a game that featured 16 ties and 21 lead changes, Montrezl Harrell tipped in teammate Lou Williams’ missed shot with 2.3 seconds remaining to give the Clippers the victory.
“Playing harder,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of how Los Angeles managed to rally from 10 points down with 6:40 left to play.
“We don’t panic, we keep running our stuff,” Rivers said. “We got enough stops, we’re a gritty basketball team.”
Harrell and Williams led the Clippers with 24 points apiece. Star forward Kawhi Leonard sat out with “injury management” of his sore left knee on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Philadelphia 76ers remained unbeaten at home, improving to 8-0 at Wells Fargo Center with a 97-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Joel Embiid bounced back from an embarrassing scoreless performance in Monday’s loss at Toronto, scoring 33 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.