Pelicans welcome Nuggets to the Big Easy

( - The New Orleans Pelicans are in a dog fight for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference and that continues Sunday night when the Denver Nuggets visit the Smoothie King Center.

New Orleans is tied for the final postseason slot with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who play the Chicago Bulls at home earlier Sunday. The teams own a three-game lead over the Phoenix Suns.

The Pelicans have won three straight and are 9-2 in their last 11. What's been most impressive about New Orleans' surge is that Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson have been absent throughout with injuries.

One night after scoring a career-high 43 points in a nail-biter win over the Bucks, Anthony Davis had a much easier time against the Nets on Tuesday. Davis finished with a pedestrian 15 points as New Orleans rolled to a 111-91 win over the Nets.

Quincy Pondexter and Alexis Ajinca netted 17 apiece to lead the Pelicans, while Eric Gordon and Norris Cole each had 16. Cole started in place of Tyreke Evans, who left Monday's win with an ankle injury and might return Sunday.

Omer Asik added 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans.

"They kind of got out to a fast start. We just stuck together and ended up coming up with the win," Davis said.

The Pelicans host the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, then visit Phoenix, Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Denver has won three in a row, all at home, and embark on a five-game road trip through the south with stops in Memphis, Houston, Miami and Orlando on the horizon.

The Nuggets took advantage of the Warriors on Friday when Golden State coach Steve Kerr elected to rest Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala. Backup center Marreese Speights was suspended for the game, but Denver collected a 114-103 win.

Randy Foye scored 11 of his 20 points in the final quarter and had eight assists to rally the Nuggets.

Kenneth Faried added 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Nuggets, who ended the contest on a 20-4 run. Danilo Gallinari also scored 24, while Jameer Nelson chipped in 17 points and seven assists in Denver's triumph.

Justin Holiday's 3-pointer moved the Warriors to a 99-94 edge with 5:19 remaining, but Foye put the Nuggets on his back by scoring 11 points the rest of the way. His 3-pointer tied the game at 99 before Nelson hit a jumper for a 101-99 edge with 3:41 to go.

An offensive foul on Golden State's James Michael McAdoo led to a dunk from Wilson Chandler at the other end, but Shaun Livingston's jam had the visitors within 103-101 with 2:59 left.

Foye responded with a 3-ball to start a game-sealing 8-0 burst.

"Guys wanted to win this game," Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt said. "They were excited about it and they were a little disappointed in themselves we played so poorly in the third. We were going to come out and make sure we left everything on the floor."

The Nuggets won two of three meetings this season. Their victory in New Orleans on Jan. 28 halted a four-game road losing streak in this series.