By NOAH TRISTER/AP Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Eric Gordon’s driving layup with 1.9 seconds left gave the New Orleans Pelicans a 103-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
Detroit blew a 16-point third-quarter lead, and the Pistons inexplicably didn’t call time after Gordon’s winning shot.
Instead, Brandon Jennings rushed a shot from midcourt that missed while coach Maurice Cheeks stood yelling for a timeout.
Detroit wasted a 28-point performance from Jennings and 21 points and 20 rebounds from Andre Drummond. Anthony Morrow scored 21 points for New Orleans, which won for only the second time in 11 games.
The Pelicans were without Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Jason Smith and Tyreke Evans because of injuries.
Detroit went on a 30-4 run in the third quarter and led 78-62, but New Orleans reeled off the next nine points to pull within striking distance.
The Pelicans took a 99-98 lead when Anthony Davis was credited with a tip-in, and it was 101-98 after Morrow’s two free throws with 30.8 seconds left.
Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey drew a foul with 27.4 seconds left. He made the first free throw and missed the second, but New Orleans couldn’t come up with the rebound. Jennings missed a 3-pointer, but Josh Smith rebounded and made a layup to tie it at 101 with 19 seconds to play.
Gordon patiently ran the clock down, spun past rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope near the free throw line and finished with a high, floating layup.
Jennings scored 18 points in the third quarter. New Orleans led 58-48 early in the second half after a dunk by Alexis Ajinca. The Pistons scored the next 18 points and kept pouring it on for much of the quarter, with Jennings drawing fouls and breezing in for layups.
The Pistons capped their 18-0 run in the third with five points on one trip down the court. Smith scored while being fouled, and although he missed the free throw, Detroit came up with the ball and Jennings connected from way behind the 3-point line to make it 66-58.
Detroit spent more than half the quarter in the bonus. Jennings made two free throws to make it 68-60, then quickly stole the ball and found rookie Caldwell-Pope for a dunk.
It was 80-71 after three quarters. New Orleans got another scare with 6:19 to play in the fourth when Davis fell hard under the basket and stayed down with his hand on his tailbone. But he was able to stay in the game.
Davis finished with 14 points. Gordon and Austin Rivers had 15 each.
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