(The Sports Xchange) – With Anthony Davis struggling through a rare poor shooting night, the New Orleans Pelicans were forced to rely on the supporting cast to rally the team and pull out a rare road win.
Jrue Holiday scored 16 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Tim Frazier compiled his first career triple-double as the Pelicans came from 15 points down in the third quarter and beat the Phoenix Suns 120-119 Sunday.
Frazier finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and a game-high five steals.
The Pelicans (8-17) snapped their five-game losing streak and won for the first time since Nov. 29 despite getting only 14 points from Davis, who missed 13 of 17 shots and finished well below his league-leading average of 31.4 points per game.
“We have to find a way to score when A.D. isn’t going well, and we did that tonight,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. “For us to be a good team, that’s the way it has to be. We can’t continue to count on him to get 35 or 40 for us. We have to have guys who can step up when he’s fighting it.”
Frazier, who had five triple-doubles in two seasons with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, was on the floor for the final 17 minutes as Gentry went with four guards and Davis.
He is the first bench player to record a triple-double this year and the first player to have a triple-double and at least five steals off the bench since John Williams of the Washington Bullets in 1989 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“We didn’t throw in the towel. We wanted this win pretty bad,” Frazier said. “My first triple-double wouldn’t have meant much without a win. We had five guys out there fighting, and we hit big shots and got big stops when we needed it.
“I fought my way into the league, and I have great teammates that give me an opportunity to just play.”
Davis scored 14 points or fewer for the fourth time this season, but he didn’t mind.
“That’s why we have a team. That’s why we have other guys on the floor,” he said. “Guys stepped up and made shots when I couldn’t. It’s good for us and something we want to carry over.”
Eric Bledsoe scored 32 points before fouling out in overtime for the Suns, who missed a chance at recording just their second set of back-to-back wins this season. Tyson Chandler added 14 points and 21 rebounds for Phoenix (7-17).
“They made big plays, clutch baskets and got defensive stops,” Bledsoe said. “(Scoring 32 points) doesn’t matter. We lost.”
Leandro Barbosa had 18 points and Devin Booker 16 for the Suns, who led 79-64 with 3:21 left in the third quarter but couldn’t hold on.
“We really needed this one today. We knew that coming in,” Booker said. “I think we got complacent once we had the good start. We played down to our competition after that, and they just came back.”
Langston Galloway scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for New Orleans, all coming on 3-pointers. His last one gave the Pelicans a 105-103 lead with 2:53 left.
The teams traded baskets in the final minutes, with Bledsoe answering two Holiday free throws with a driving layup with 35.3 seconds left.
Both teams had one final shot, but Holiday and Bledsoe each missed 3-pointers to force overtime.
Holiday produced seven of the Pelicans’ 10 overtime points to put the game away.
“We were attacking, and it was a good lineup for us,” Holiday said. “If (Davis) can get 30 and the rest of us distribute the ball like that, we’re going to be hard to beat.”
The Suns stretched their lead to as many as 15 points twice in the third quarter, but the Pelicans closed the deficit to 82-76 by the end of the period. Holiday capped a 24-9 New Orleans run with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 87 with nine minutes left.