LOS ANGELES (AFP) – DeMarcus Cousins notched a triple-double and Anthony Davis returned from injury to score 30 points on Saturday as the New Orleans Pelicans downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 123-101.
Cousins poured in 29 points with 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double since arriving in New Orleans.
Davis, who missed Thursday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with a knee injury, pulled down 14 rebounds to go with his 30 points.
Jrue Holiday also had a season-high 29 points and seven assists, while E’Twaun Moore matched his career-high with 24 points.
Kevin Love led the way for the Cavaliers with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Cavs superstar LeBron James added 18 points, five rebounds and eight assists – but also had four turnovers as Cleveland, beaten by the Golden tate Warriors in last year’s NBA finals, dropped their second straight to fall to 3-3.
Love made three three-pointers in little more than a minute to spark a 22-7 Cleveland scoring run that turned a 65-52 deficit into a 73-72 Cavs lead midway through the third period.
But New Orleans responded with a 12-2 run and led 89-83 going into the final period.
Cleveland, already coping with early season injuries, got a scare when Love went down with less than five minutes left in the third. Love returned to hit two free throws before coach Tyronn Lue sat his starters for much of the fourth quarter.
‘‘We’re fine, we’re fine,’’ James said of a Cavs team coping with injuries to guards Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade.
‘‘I’m an even-keel guy,’’ added James. ‘‘I understand it’s a long process for us. We’ve played some crazy lineups that we haven’t even played in practice. We’ll continue to get better.’’
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook completed his collection with a triple-double on Saturday against the Chicago Bulls, the only NBA team that had denied the Oklahoma City star the statistical feat.
Westbrook, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, scored 12 points with 13 rebounds and 13 assists in Oklahoma City’s 101-69 rout of the Bulls.
He’s the first player to post a triple-double – notching double digits in three statistical categories – against all 29 opposing teams in the NBA.
It was his third triple-double of the young season, and he needed just 28 minutes on court to achieve it.
Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, new arrivals in Oklahoma City this season, combined to drain nine three-pointers, Anthony scoring 21 points and George 20.