Nets, Pelicans square off in New Orleans

( - The New Orleans Pelicans will shoot for a third straight win Wednesday versus the Brooklyn Nets in the continuation of a three-game homestand at Smoothie King Center.

The Pelicans opened the stay with Monday's 100-97 triumph over the Toronto Raptors, as Luke Babbitt scored 18 points and Alexis Ajinca added 16. Norris Cole had 15 points and Omer Asik ended with 14 and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who made 51.3 percent from the field and rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans was down by as many as 18 points in the game.

"We have to keep fighting. That was the thing I told the guys at halftime. (Toronto) is a really good team, but I thought if we stayed with it, we'd give ourselves a chance. Guys put their heads down. Once we started to get our spirit back, we had a chance to compete," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.

Tyreke Evans posted 13 points and 12 assists. The Pelicans had a 55-21 scoring advantage from the bench.

New Orleans, of course, will be without All-Star big man Anthony Davis for some time because of a shoulder bruise he aggravated in Saturday's win in Miami. Davis originally bruised the shoulder before the break and missed the All-Star Game. Ryan Anderson is also out with a knee injury.

The Pelicans, who sit 2 1/2 games off a postseason spot in the West, will host the Heat on Friday and are 18-10 in the Big Easy.

Brooklyn will resume its eight-game sojourn and is 2-3 on the trek.

The Nets won their second game in a row with Monday's 110-82 defeat of the Denver Nuggets, as Brook Lopez led the charge with 19 points and nine rebounds. Deron Williams provided 16 points and 12 assists, Thaddeus Young added 15 points and five boards, and Mason Plumlee finished with 14.

"All the guys were playing together tonight," said Plumlee. "We were just feeding off each others energy and that gave everyone a boost out there tonight."

Brooklyn is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference and has a 13-16 record as the visitor. The Nets will close the trip in Texas with two games against Houston and Dallas this weekend.

The Nets have scored more than 110 points in back-to-back games and haven't turned the trick in three straight road bouts since the 1997-98 campaign.

Wednesday's game between the Nets and Pelicans is the first of two matchups this season. The two teams will meet again March 10 at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn had a three-game winning streak in this series come to an end with a 109-104 overtime setback last March 24 in the Big Easy.