EditorsNote: rewords third and eighth grafs
Jrue Holiday had 22 points and 10 assists as the host New Orleans Pelicans spoiled Carmelo Anthony's debut by defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 115-104 on Tuesday night.
Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans' leading scorer, returned from a four-game absence caused by a sore knee to add 21 points. JJ Redick had 18, Nicolo Melli scored 14 and E'Twaun Moore 11 as New Orleans won for just the fifth time this season but the third time in four games.
Anthony, a 35-year-old 10-time All-Star who hadn't played in more than a year, started in his first game since signing with the Blazers. He had 10 points (on 4-of-14 shooting) and four rebounds in 24 minutes.
CJ McCollum scored 22, Hassan Whiteside had 14 points and 14 rebounds, Anfernee Simons scored 13, Nassir Little had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Kent Bazemore added 11 points for the Blazers.
Portland, which fell to 1-2 to start a six-game, 10-day road trip, played without leading scorer Damian Lillard, who had back spasms.
The Blazers led by one point at halftime, but Pelicans rookie Jaxson Hayes started the third-quarter scoring with a pair of free throws.
That produced the first of three lead changes, and the score was tied once during the first 4:09 of the quarter.
Melli scored 12 third-quarter points, and the Pelicans opened an 83-70 advantage with 3:28 left in the period.
The Blazers made three 3-pointers before Nickeil Alexander-Walker beat the buzzer and banked in a trey to give New Orleans an 88-79 lead after three quarters.
Holiday scored five points and Ingram added four as the Pelicans increased their lead to 97-83 with eight minutes remaining. They maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Anthony took the Blazers' first two shots, missing a jumper and then making a 3-pointer. He had five first-quarter points, and Little came off the bench to score seven as Portland took a 28-27 lead at the end of the period.
McCollum had 10 first-half points and Ingram and Holiday had 11 each as the Blazers took a 54-53 halftime lead.
--Field Level Media