Pelicans hit the road to face Minnesota

( - The New Orleans Pelicans once again become road warriors on Friday as they travel to the Target Center to face the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Pelicans played one game in the Big Easy following a five-game road trip. New Orleans went 2-3 on that trip with wins over the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons and losses to the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.

On Wednesday, the Pelicans returned home and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 96-80.

Anthony Davis, who was named a starter for the Western Conference All-Star team, had 29 points and eight rebounds as the Pelicans pulled away from the Lakers in the fourth quarter.

Davis returned from a three-game absence with a toe injury.

Eric Gordon posted 17 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, while Tyreke Evans added 19 points for the Pelicans, who outscored the Lakers 27-12 in the fourth to turn the game into a rout.

"We just love Gordon's floor game, having 10 assists was huge for us," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.

New Orleans scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to grab a 10- point cushion at the 8:32 mark. The Lakers never got within less than eight the rest of the way.

Following Friday's contest, the Pelicans head home for a six-game residency.

The Timberwolves have lost two straight since winning two of three. Minnesota has dropped nine straight at home and hasn't won at the Target Center since Dec. 10 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

On Wednesday, the home losing streak reached nine with a 98-75 setback at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

Andrew Wiggins paced the Timberwolves with 18 points, with Thaddeus Young tallying 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in defeat.

Nikola Pekovic, playing his first game since Minnesota's loss in Dallas on Nov. 15, had 14 points in 23 minutes in his return.

The Mavericks hit on 11-of-27 shots from beyond the arc. Minnesota, in contrast, went a poor 2-of-15 on 3-point tries and shot just 34.8 percent overall.

"It felt like we were playing with deflated balls tonight," Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders joked in reference to the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots' recent win in the AFC Championship Game. "We couldn't shoot at all tonight."

The Timberwolves might be getting some reinforcements soon in the form of Kevin Martin. He has practiced for almost a week and is listed as questionable for Friday.

There is no return timetable for Ricky Rubio or Shabazz Muhammad.

The Pelicans beat the T-wolves in New Orleans on Nov. 14 and have taken two straight versus Minnesota. The Timberwolves are 4-0 in their last four as the host in this series.