NEW ORLEANS (Sporting Alert, Box Score) — Kevin Durant returned for Oklahoma City, but his 27 points was not enough to prevent the Thunder from falling 112-104 to New Orleans on Tuesday night, as three Pelicans players finished with double-doubles.
Durant, the league’s reigning MVP, made his season debut after missing the Thunder opening 17 games because of a fractured foot and he played 30 minutes and went 9 of 18 from the field in the defeat.
“I felt good out there,” said Durant.
“I just got to keep putting together good days and I’ll keep getting back to where I want to be.”
Tyreke Evans scored a game-high 30 points and Anthony Davis collected 25 points, 10 rebounds, six steals, four blocks and four assists to lead the way for the Pelicans (8-8), which stopped a three game losing streak and moved back to .500 on the season.
“I was in attack mode,” Evans said. “I was in a zone. Once you get in a zone, you feel like no one can stay in front of you.”
Ryan Anderson had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Jrue Holiday collected 16 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in the victory for New Orleans, who will next play at the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
“It was a good win,” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “We played extremely hard tonight.
“I thought that was going to be the key for us, to do something that is ordinary for us but it is something we haven’t seen consistently, playing hard for 48 minutes.”
After a close opening quarter, the Pelicans scored 40 points in the second against the Thunder’s 26, as the home side took a 52-69 lead into the halftime break.
After the interval, the home side increased the lead to as many as 19 points, before OKC rallied to trim the gap to just five with 10:22 left.
But more turnovers led to the hosts going on another run, and the Thunder struggled to keep up in the end.
”We did a great job of being disciplined on our game plan, knowing what guys were going to do and we just stayed with it for four quarters,” Davis said.
”We’ve got to defend, rebound and run. That’s what we do. That’s going to get our offense going.
”When we’re moving the ball, sharing the ball, cutting hard and playing for each other, it makes the game a lot easier.”
Russell Westbrook scored 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Oklahoma City, but was also 6 of 20 from the field, while he and Durant combined for 12 of the Thunder’s 17 total turnovers.
Reggie Jackson added 17 points and Jeremy Lamb went 5 of 7 attempts from the floor for 15 points and five boards for OKC, which will next meet the winless Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on Dec. 5.
LA Lakers Beat Detroit Pistons – Box Score
Los Angeles Lakers also grabbed a win on Tuesday, after beating the struggling Detroit Pistons 106-96 at The Palace of Auburn Hills to win back-to-back games for the second time this season.
Jordan Hill finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 12 points, 13 assists and five boards in the win for the Lakers (5-13), which handed the Pistons their eight defeat at home.
Nick Young scored 19 points, Carlos Boozer had 14 points and seven rebounds and Wesley Johnson contributed 13 points and four blocks for Los Angeles, which led 81-65 at the end of the third quarter.
Detroit cut the gap to seven points with 5:13 left, but the Lakers took care of business from the free throw line to seal the win.
Josh Smith collected 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals to lead the way for the Pistons.
D.J. Augustin had 13 points, while Caron Butler, 11 and Brandon Jennings, 10, where the only other players in double figured for the hosts in the defeat.
In another result, Cleveland hold on for a 111-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, with the “Big 3” making big contributions for the Cavs.
Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and six assists, Kevin Love had 27 and 10 boards and Lebron James added 26 points and 10 assists in the win.
Brandon Knight top scored for the Bucks with 27 points and rookie Jabari Parker had 22 points and eight rebounds in the defeat.
NBA SCORES: Tuesday, Dec. 2
New Orleans 112, Oklahoma City 104 – Box Score
Cleveland 111, Milwaukee 108 – Box Score
Portland 105, Denver 103 – Box Score
LA Lakers 106, Detroit 96 – Box Score
Atlanta 109, Boston 105 – Box Score
Brooklyn 98, New York 93 – Box Score
Dallas 132, Chicago 129 (OT) – Box Score
Phoenix 116, Indiana 99 – Box Score