LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis scored 27 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 20 and the New Orleans Pelicans withstood a furious rally to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-112 on Sunday night for their first victory of the season.
The Pelicans led by 22 points in the second quarter and were still up by double figures heading into the final period, but the Lakers made a charge despite a poor shooting night from rookie Lonzo Ball.
Reserve Jordan Clarkson had 24 points for the Lakers, but Ball shot just 3 for 13 for eight points. He did have 13 assists and eight rebounds.
E'Twaun Moore, who went 0 for 5 in his last game, added 19 points for the Pelicans (1-2), while Jrue Holiday and Ian Clark each had 14.
Jameer Nelson, signed Saturday by the Pelicans, had a nine-hour journey to L.A. to join the team and played 24 key minutes. He scored five points with five assists and ran the offense for long stretches of the fourth quarter. Nelson also hit a 3-pointer that put the Pelicans up 117-110 with about a minute to play.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope started and scored 20 points in his first appearance for the Lakers. Rookie Kyle Kuzma also had 20.
The Lakers got off to a horrid start, missing their first eight shots, and were fortunate to only trail 34-22 at the end of the first quarter.
The Pelicans expanded their lead late in the second period before Caldwell-Pope scored seven unanswered points and the Pelicans settled for a 68-55 advantage at the half. New Orleans shot 65 percent in the first half.
But the Lakers made a charge behind their bench, outscoring New Orleans 16-2 to open the fourth quarter to take their first lead at 99-98. Including the end of the third quarter, the Lakers went on a 27-4 run.