Pelicans drop Nets in overtime for third straight win

Anthony Morrow struggled with his outside shot during much of the Pelicans’ game Monday against the Brooklyn Nets.

But he came up big when the Pelicans needed him most.

Morrow sank two big 3-pointers in overtime, and the Pelicans fought past the Nets 109-104 at the Smoothie King Center.

“I had good looks, and the shots felt good; they just weren’t going in,” said Morrow, who was 1-of-6 from 3-point range and 2-of-10 overall before making the two shots. “But I work hard, and the guys found me for two big open shots in overtime.”

Tyreke Evans led the Pelicans (30-40), who won their third game in a row, with a game-high 33 points. Anthony Davis had 24 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots.

The overtime victory came after the Nets (37-32) led the Pelicans by 22 points early in the third quarter. It was the second-biggest comeback in franchise history.

Brian Roberts, who played on after injuring his knee midway through the fourth quarter, and Morrow sank consecutive 3-pointers to give New Orleans a 106-100 lead with 2:37 left in overtime. Nets 6-foot-7 guard Shaun Livingston backed into the lane for a layup over Roberts to cut it to four. But on the Nets’ next possession, Joe Johnson lost the ball out of bounds with 1:11 left.

Morrow then sank the clinching 3 with 54.5 seconds remaining.

The big shots came after coach Monty Williams nearly took Morrow out to put in forward Luke Babbitt. But an official ruled that it was too late.

“The Lord blessed us,” Williams said. “I was trying to get A-Mo out of the game, and I couldn’t get Luke there in time. (Morrow) comes back and hits the shot, then said to me, ‘I’m not going to miss anymore.’ ”

The Pelicans had victory in hand twice before but couldn’t hold on to it.

With the score tied at 98 and 24.1 seconds left in regulation, Evans dribbled the ball down to 8 seconds before he made his move. He was double-teamed and passed to Morrow, who missed, and the game went to overtime, during which he missed two more shots before hitting the two big ones.

Morrow sank a 3-pointer that gave the Pelicans a 98-93 lead with 1:14 left in regulation before Brooklyn tied the score with a rebound dunk by Mirza Teletovic and a 3-pointer by Paul Pierce with 24.1 seconds left.

“We got away from our defense,” Johnson said. “They are a young team, and we let them get their confidence and swagger, and they came back and won the game.”

The Pelicans were behind 87-79 with 8:34 left. But Roberts started a 10-2 comeback with a lob to Davis and a drive on the fast break. Roberts also was fouled on a drive at 5:23 in which he appeared to injure his knee, and he lay on the court for several minutes. But the NBA’s free throw leader sank both, bringing the Pelicans to 89-87.

Evans then put New Orleans ahead with consecutive drives, but Johnson tied it at 91 with a floater at 3:04.