NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 36 points and 15 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans rallied after DeMarcus Cousins’ ejection to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-107 on Monday night.
Cousins had 18 points and nine rebounds before he was called for a flagrant foul on Russell Westbrook with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Cousins raised his elbows near Westbrook’s face after grabbing a rebound, and the Thunder guard dropped to the floor holding his head. Westbrook remained in the game and finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and three steals. However, Westbrook also missed 13 of 19 shots.
New Orleans trailed 76-72 when Cousins was ejected but surged ahead soon after with an 11-3 run during which Jameer Nelson, E’Twaun Moore and Darius Miller each hit 3s, with Nelson’s banking in from near half-court as the shot clock expired.
Jrue Holiday scored 18 points for New Orleans, which snapped a two-game skid.
Paul George hit six 3s en route to 26 points and Carmelo Anthony scored 19 for Oklahoma City, which lost its second straight.
Thunder: Oklahoma City led by 19 points during the first quarter, when Alex Abrines’ 3 made it 25-6. But the Thunder fell back into a tie early in the second quarter before going back up by eight at halftime after George’s 3 made it 65-57. … The Thunder struggled to convert on Pelicans mistakes, scoring just 16 points off of 19 turnovers. … Steven Adams had 15 points and Jerami Grant 10 points. … Oklahoma City made 11 of 35 3-point attempts.
Pelicans: The 6-foot-4 Moore, normally a reserve shooting guard, started at small forward. After averaging 16.2 points in his previous five games, he finished with 12 points against the Thunder. … Miller also had 11 points for New Orleans, hitting three of four 3-point shots. … Davis had seven turnovers. … New Orleans was 7 of 25 on 3-point attempts.
From video replays displayed on the arena scoreboard, it appeared Cousins made contact with Westbrook, but it was difficult to discern whether contact was made with the Thunder star’s head or shoulder, or whether the impact was significant.
Officials did not eject Cousins from the game until after viewing replays on a TV at the scorers’ table, after which they called a flagrant two.
Hard contact is not required for a flagrant two — only an act deemed “unnecessary and excessive.”
Thunder: Host Golden State on Wednesday night.
Pelicans: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.