CHICAGO — It was probably inevitable that DeMarcus Cousins would turn in a less-than-stellar performance at some point.
Even in a relative clunker, Cousins managed to have a major impact.
Struggling for most of the contest, Cousins scored 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Anthony Davis had 27 points and 16 rebounds as the Pelicans outlasted the Bulls 96-90 in the second half of a back-to-back for both teams.
The Pelicans (5-5) beat the Dallas Mavericks 99-94 on Friday night behind a combined 50 points and 35 rebounds from the two All-Star centers to kick off a four-game road trip.
Chicago (3-5) also recorded a road victory on Friday night, defeating the Orlando Magic 105-83, and both teams shot like they had tired legs.
The Pelicans shot 40.2 percent in the overtime victory, while the Bulls managed to make just 35.4 percent of their shots.
Jameer Nelson and Darius Miller gave the Pelicans some much-needed production off the bench, combining for 23 points on 6-of-9 3-point shooting.
The Pelicans jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead, but the rest of regulation was a struggle. They trailed by as many as nine in the third quarter before receiving a spark from an unlikely source.
Miller scored all of his season-high 11 points over a six-minute stretch of the second half as New Orleans reclaimed a 65-64 lead early in the fourth.
Neither team scored in the final 90 seconds of regulation after Davis slammed home an alley-oop from Jrue Holiday to tie it at 83 on a set play after a timeout.
Cousins blocked Robin Lopez’s game-winning attempt at the buzzer, then scored the first two points of overtime to give the Pelicans the lead for good.
He shot just 6 of 20 from the field but was 11 of 13 from the line. He added 11 rebounds, four assists and one blocked shot.
Davis was 11 of 17 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line, and he blocked three shots.
Justin Holiday, Jrue’s brother, led Chicago with 18 points. Denzel Valentine added 16.
The Bulls were just 11 of 42 from behind the 3-point arc, while the Pelicans went 9 for 30.