Evans on target as Pelicans deal Blazers second loss in a row

AP

Tyreke Evans hit the final shot. Jrue Holiday made every big play before that to put the New Orleans Pelicans in position to win.

Evans sank a mid-range, pull-up jumper with 1.2 seconds left, and Holiday scored 15 of his season-high 31 points in the fourth quarter as the Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-108 on Monday night.

Holiday, acquired in a draft-night trade with Philadelphia last June, connected on seven shots in the fourth when the score was tied or New Orleans led by two or fewer points. He also tied his season high for assists with 13.

“I was just being aggressive,” he said. “They were backing off on the screen-and-roll where I had the guard behind him, and I had a lot of confidence in my shot. I just felt good and it came at a good time.”

Evans’ big basket came right after Portland’s Damian Lillard, who has hit several game-winners this season, made a contested 3-pointer to tie the score 108-108. New Orleans, which won its fourth in a row at home, never trailed in the second half but never led by more than five in the final 10 minutes.

Lillard scored 29 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 for Portland (24-7), which lost its second straight.

Heat 97, Nuggets 94

In Denver, LeBron James returned from a groin injury to score 26 points on his birthday, and Miami beat the skidding Nuggets despite losing Dwyane Wade and Norris Cole during the game.

James, who turned 29 on Monday, injured his groin Friday during the Heat’s overtime loss at Sacramento. He sat out the following game, a 108-107 win Saturday in Portland, before coming back to help send the Nuggets to their seventh consecutive defeat.

Ty Lawson had 26 points to lead Denver, which lost its second straight to Miami at the Pepsi Center after winning the previous 10 in a row.

Mavericks 100, T-Wolves 98

In Minneapolis, Shawn Marion scored 32 points and hit two huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help Dallas withstand a furious second-half charge from Minnesota.

Kevin Love had 36 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, and his 3-pointer 90 seconds into the fourth quarter gave the Wolves an 86-85 lead. They led 90-87 midway through the period, but Marion hit two 3-pointers during a 10-0 run to put the Mavericks back in front.

Love had a shot to win it on the last possession, but Marion knocked his shot out of bounds. Love thought he was fouled, and replays appeared to support him. But no whistle was blown.

Wizards 106, Pistons 99

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, John Wall scored 29 points and Washington became the latest team to rally past Detroit in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Jennings had 15 points and 14 assists for the Pistons, who have lost five of six.

Bulls 95, Grizzlies 91

In Memphis, Jimmy Butler scored 14 of his 26 points in the third quarter and Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 10 rebounds in Chicago’s victory over the Grizzlies.

Jazz 83, Bobcats 80

In Salt Lake City, Trey Burke beat the shot clock on a driving layup with 19 seconds left and scored 21 points to power Utah past Charlotte.

Suns 107, Clippers 88

In Los Angeles, Goran Dragic had 26 points and eight assists as Phoenix downed the Clippers.

Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford each scored 15 points for Los Angeles, while Chris Paul had 11 points and seven assists in the loss.