Published May 02, 2016
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyreke Evans hit a sweeping layup with 1.6 seconds left to give the New Orleans Pelicans an improbable 95-93 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
Despite playing without star big man Anthony Davis (toe) and point guard Jrue Holiday (ankle), the Pelicans rallied around Evans and reserve center Alexis Ajinca, who scored 26 and 22 points, respectively. Evans drew the attention of three Raptors on his game-winning layup, but got it to fall regardless.
"(The Raptors) were blitzing the pick-and-roll, so I wanted to back up and get a good head start and build up steam," Evans explained. "I kind of read Amir Johnson - he stopped a little bit - so once I saw him pause, I knew I had him beat, and I tried to finish at the rim."
DeMar DeRozan missed a fadeaway 3 at the buzzer.
Evans added five rebounds and five assists, while Ajinca shot 10-for-13 in 34 minutes off the bench. Eric Gordon had 14 points in the win, which moved New Orleans to 2-2 on its five-game road trip.
DeRozan led Toronto with 22 points in his third game back from a groin injury. Lou Williams scored 17 points and Greivis Vasquez added 16 and nine assists, as the Raptors fell for the seventh time in their last nine games.
Omer Asik's layup on the first possession of the second half gave New Orleans its biggest lead at 16 points, but the Raptors scored 10 of the next 12 points to cut into their deficit. Runs of 7-0 and 9-0 later in the quarter gave them the lead.
Vasquez's 3-pointer at 4:44, part of the 9-0 flurry, tied the game at 58, and DeRozan's runner on the next possession put the Raptors in front. They scored the last six points of the third and turned a 14-point halftime deficit into a 71-64 lead.
A pair of Williams free throws near the midpoint of the fourth made it an 11- point game, but New Orleans had more in the tank down the stretch. Gordon's three-point play highlighted the ensuing 9-0 push that had the Pelicans within 87-85.
Ajinca tied the game at 89 with his layup, and Asik gave the Pelicans a brief lead with a dunk on the next possession. DeRozen re-tied it with a jumper at the other end.
Baskets were at a premium in the early going. Six-plus minutes into the game, the score was just 5-5, as the two teams combined for a 3-for-20 start from the field.
New Orleans got a boost from its bench, with all four reserves that played scoring at least two points. Ajinca had six points and the Pelicans led 21-14 after one.
"We've got to find a way to get jump-started at the beginning of the game or find a group that's getting jump-started," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Evans dropped 13 of his 15 first-half points in the second quarter, as the visitors extended their lead to 50-36 at halftime.
The Pelicans outscored Toronto 62-34 in the paint and 18-9 on second-chance points ... Johnson had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto ... Toronto finished its six-game homestand at 2-4. It heads on the road for three games, starting in Milwaukee on Monday ... New Orleans finishes its road trip in New York on Monday.