(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans will go for five consecutive victories Sunday when they travel to the Pepsi Center to challenge the Denver Nuggets.
The Pelicans swept a recent homestand after a win in South Beach. This run has come without superstar Anthony Davis, as well as key contributors, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson.
On Friday, New Orleans once again toppled the Miami Heat, 104-102, but this time, the Pelicans prevailed in the Big Easy.
Alexis Ajinca scored 24 points with eight rebounds and three blocks in place of an injured Davis. Eric Gordon registered 20 points with eight assists, while Tyreke Evans contributed 19 points and 11 assists for the Pelicans.
The Pelicans forced a shot clock turnover with 36 seconds left, then Gordon found Ajinca inside for a layup to give the hosts a 104-102 lead. Omer Asik came up with a block of Hassan Whiteside on the ensuing Heat possession, but he threw it away to give the Heat another chance.
Wade went for the win from 3-point range, but his attempt hit back iron and the Pelicans held on.
"My teammates gave me the ball in the right position, I just had to finish," Ajinca said.
The Nuggets have lost five in a row, including all three during this homestand, which ends on Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Denver hasn't won at the Pepsi Center since Jan. 14, a span of nine straight games.
After losses to the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns, the Nuggets fell by 22 on Friday night to the Utah Jazz.
Will Barton scored 22 and Kenneth Faried added 12 points and eight boards, both off the bench, for Denver. Danilo Gallinari had 13 points in the Nuggets' 18th loss in 20 games.
The Nuggets were without Darrell Arthur (right calf strain) and Jusuf Nurkic (right ankle sprain).
The Nuggets allowed 50 points in the paint and Nurkic's absence didn't help.
"That was a big part of it," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. "We need to stop the penetration right at the point of the pick and rolls. We didn't do that. We weren't taking anything away."
The Nuggets have won three straight meetings and six in a row as the host in this series.