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Pelicans 106, Grizzlies 95

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NEW ORLEANS — Guard Jrue Holiday had 23 points and eight assists and led five players in double figures to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to a 106-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at the Smoothie King Center.

The Pelicans (18-18) snapped a two-game losing streak and got balanced scoring. In addition to Holiday, guard Tyreke Evans scored 21 points and forwards Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson had 20 each.

Anderson missed 12 of 14 shots from the field in his first game this season against the Grizzlies — a 93-81 road loss — but rebounded in the second meeting by making 4 of 8 from long range.

The Grizzlies (25-10) were paced by center Marc Gasol and guard Mike Conley with 19 points each. Forward Tayshaun Prince, the subject of trade rumors before the game, missed his first five shots from the field and scored six points in 25 minutes.

The Pelicans, who never trailed, added four 3-pointers in the third quarter — two each by Anderson and Gordon — to take an 82-71 lead. The Pelicans made nine of their first 17 from long range and Memphis made just 3 of 12 from the perimeter.

The Pelicans closed the first half on a 19-7 run to take a 52-37 halftime lead, holding the Grizzlies to 37 percent shooting from the floor.

With forward Dante Cunnigham inserted into the Pelicans’ starting lineup, Evans came off the bench and provided instant offense, scoring 13 points and grabbing rebounds in 17 minutes.

Point guard Jrue Holiday added 10 points and four assists in the first half, and he closed the second quarter by stealing the dribble from guard Courtney Lee at midcourt and racing the rest of the way for a buzzer-beating scoop shot.

The Pelicans also benefited by hitting 13 of 15 free throws in the half. During the second-quarter run, Evans had seven points and Anderson nailed two 3-pointers.

Gasol scored 11 points in the first half and Randolph, playing for the first time after missing nine consecutive games with a right knee injury, added eight points and four assists.

NOTES: The Grizzlies are expected to trade F Tayshaun Prince and a future first-round pick to Boston in exchange for F Jeff Green. Prince, who has an expiring $7.7 million contract, played against the Pelicans on Friday night. … F Zach Randolph returned from a sore right knee. … Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger, whose team holds the eighth playoff spot, said the Western Conference competition is like a nuclear arms race. “Mentally, it can really weigh on you when you’re behind in the West because you see all the trades that are happening, and the good teams keep adding good players and getting better,” Joerger said. … Entering Friday night, the Pelicans had lost two consecutive games, averaging just 43.0 points in the second half. New Orleans blew a 13-point lead in a 98-94 loss at Charlotte. “We have a sick feeling about the way the other night ended,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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