Anthony Davis-led Pelicans beat Pistons 118-103

Detroit Pistons forward Reggie Bullock (25) drives on New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) blocks a Detroit Pistons guard Jameer Nelson (41) shot in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) drives on New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (7) drives on New Orleans Pelicans forward Darius Miller in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, left, drives on New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New Orleans Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo (9) protects the ball from Detroit Pistons guard Ish Smith in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Pistons forward James Ennis III (33) is fouled by New Orleans Pelicans guard Ian Clark in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis, left, drives against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New Orleans Pelicans forward Darius Miller (21) reacts after being injured against the Detroit Pistons in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) blocks a Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) shot in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT — New Orleans star Anthony Davis dominated Detroit as he usually does, scoring all over the court no matter who was trying to defend him in a red, white and blue uniform.

In another one of his strong performances against the Pistons, Davis had 38 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pelicans to a 118-103 victory on Monday night.

Davis is averaging 30.4 points per game against the Pistons, his highest total against an NBA team. He scored a career-high 59 against them nearly two years ago.

"It's not just them," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. "It might be him."

Davis is a key reason why the Pelicans have won 11 of the last 12 games against the Pistons.

Detroit attempted to defend Davis with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, but they were no match for Davis inside, off the dribble or on the outside. The All-Star was 14 of 24 from the field, including 3 for 6 on 3-pointers.

"I'm playing him as tough as possible, and I didn't give him any easy layups," Drummond said. "He's just a hell of a player, and he's making contested jumpers and contested 3s."

Davis had 10 points in the second quarter, powering New Orleans to a 60-52 lead at halftime.

Nikola Mirotic helped the Pelicans pull away in the third quarter and finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

"We were terrible on defense," Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I don't think we did anything well. When you aren't getting back in transition and you won't get your body between the ball and the basket, you aren't tough enough to win."

New Orleans has won two straight for the first time since DeMarcus Cousins tore his left Achilles tendon. The Pelicans are 3-5 without the All-Star center.

"He was such a big part of everything," Gentry said. "We have guys adjusting to new roles. It takes a little while."

The Pistons have lost three straight after winning five in a row, including four with Griffin.

"We haven't deserved to win these last three games," Van Gundy said. "There were five or six loose balls where no one got on the floor and too many times where people got behind us in transition. Those are inexcusable."

Griffin scored 22 on 8-of-17 shooting. Drummond had 13 points and 21 rebounds.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: DeAndre Liggins limped toward the locker room late in the first half with a bruised left thigh, but not before drawing a charge against Stanley Johnson while hobbled on the court. Liggins stayed out in the second half. "He could've played, but we thought it would be better to rest him," Gentry said. ... Jrue Holiday had 21 points and 12 assists, and Darius Miller scored 12 points.

Pistons: Griffin surpassed 11,000 points for his career. ... Reggie Bullock had 14 points, Jameer Nelson scored 12 and Stanley Johnson added 10 points.

RARE START

Emeka Okafor, who signed a 10-day contract with New Orleans earlier this month, started for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Gentry changed the lineup to bring Mirotic off the bench.

ROTATION WATCH

Van Gundy played Nelson in place of Ish Smith for long stretches of the second half and played rookie Luke Kennard more minutes than usual after halftime.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

Pistons: Host Atlanta on Wednesday night. "We can't just limp into the All-Star break," Van Gundy said. "We need to get a win and start making up some ground to get back into this."

___

More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

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