MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jrue Holiday knew what he had to do in the second half to rally his team.
Holiday scored 28 of his 36 points after halftime to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 123-121 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
“I was just being aggressive, really,” he said. “I forced some issues and made some shots. Kind of at that point, I started feeling more comfortable knocking down shots. From there, I just kept being aggressive.”
Holiday added nine rebounds and six assists for New Orleans, which held on for its season-high fifth win in a row when Jason Terry’s 3-pointer was ruled after the buzzer.
Anthony Davis, who entered the game as the league’s third-leading scorer (27.7 ppg), added 27 points and 13 rebounds.
The Pelicans trailed by 18 early in the second half but outscored Milwaukee 38-19 in the third quarter.
Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the No. 2 scorer in the NBA (27.8) and Eric Bledsoe each added 20, and Jabari Parker finished with a season-high 18, but the Bucks lost for only the fourth time in the last 14 games and fell to 9-26 all-time against New Orleans.
Rajon Rondo, who finished with 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, came up with the play of the game by making a 3-pointer off the backboard from the right wing as the 24-second clock was about to expire to give the Pelicans a 123-119 lead with 1:25 remaining in overtime.
“Yeah, we told him if they run at him then shoot it off the backboard,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. “Even he had a smile on his face. You play a good team and sometimes you have to have a little luck. That was one of those where we had a little luck.”
Middleton trimmed the margin to 123-121 with 1:09 left and had a shot to tie but his 15-footer was blocked by Nikola Mirotic with 34 seconds left.
Milwaukee would get one final chance. Antetokounmpo drove along the right side and tried to hit a fadeaway jumper from the baseline. The ball bounced off the rim and went to Terry in the left corner, but his made 3-pointer came well after the buzzer sounded.
Milwaukee held its biggest lead at 68-50 after a layup by Antetokounmpo in the opening minute of the third quarter. New Orleans answered with a 23-5 run and tied the score at 73 on a three-point play by Mirotic with 5:31 remaining.
“Anything can happen during the course of an NBA game,” Milwaukee coach Joe Prunty said. “That’s part of the beauty of the game, right? . Not taking anything away from anybody, I think in the third quarter we needed to come out with a little more energy. Again, that’s all of us. We have to take responsibility for that.”
Pelicans: Ian Clark finished with six points after scoring a season-high 21 against Miami Friday. . New Orleans is 7-2 in overtime. . The Pelicans are 18-7 against the East.
Bucks: During player introductions, the public address announcer accidently told the crowd Thon Maker was starting when John Henson actually did. . This was Milwaukee’s fifth game on Sunday but first one at home.
TALKING ABOUT TWO STARS
Gentry was asked if there were similarities between Davis and Antetokounmpo and he thinks there are.
“Both of them are long guys, athletic guys for their size and both of them are really good competitors,” he said. “They play a brand of basketball that I think the NBA is trending to, with big guys that can do a lot of stuff, such as Karl-Anthony Towns. I think it’s fun to watch those guys play, because it’s amazing that at that size, they can do some of the things they can do.”
The teams combined to shoot 2 for 15 (13.3 from 3-point range in the opening quarter.
Pelicans: Host Phoenix on Monday.
Bucks: Hosts Washington on Tuesday.
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