MILWAUKEE (AP) — New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry wasn’t about to worry about his team’s flaws after its first victory of the season.
Anthony Davis hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left and scored 32 points, and the Pelicans ended their winless start after eight games by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 112-106 on Thursday night.
“Are you kidding me, we were 0-8 and fighting for our lives,” Gentry said. “Everything that we’ve done in some kind of way had gone bad.
“To be able to finish the game and come away with a win, it’s relief,” he said. “We’re not going to say it was just another game.”
The Philadelphia 76ers (0-7) are the remaining winless team in the NBA.
“We’ve been working hard and playing our butts off, and tonight we just got one,” Davis said. “We needed everyone tonight to get this win.”
Jabari Parker scored a season-high 33 points for Milwaukee, which lost its second straight game to a team that was winless. In their last game Sunday, the Bucks fell 86-75 in overtime to Dallas, which was 0-5 coming into that game.
“We were in this situation in Dallas,” Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. “They hadn’t won a game either and they were desperate. New Orleans was desperate, and they found a way to win a game.”
E’Twaun Moore added 20 points for New Orleans, playing its third game in four nights.
Milwaukee used a late 9-4 run to pull within 108-105 on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s three-point play with 40 seconds to go.
Matthew Dellavedova made a free throw to cut the New Orleans lead to 108-106, but Davis converted both free throws to make it a two-possession game.
Mirza Teletovic missed a running 3-point attempt with 6 seconds left, and Tim Frazier hit a pair of free throws to close the scoring.
ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Antetokounmpo had 17 points, 10 rebounds and one assist in 35 minutes, his second double-double of the season. He picked up two early fouls against Dallas on Sunday and never got into a rhythm, and was charged with his fifth foul with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter against the Pelicans. He didn’t return until there was 2:40 left in the game and was unable to rally his team to victory.
A TYPICAL ROOKIE: Through the Pelicans’ first nine games, Buddy Hield was averaging nine points, making only 33 of his first 96 shots (34%). Gentry calls Hield, the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, “a typical rookie. He’s trying to feel his way. He’s had some good games for us and he’s had some struggles.”
UP NEXT: Pelicans host the Lakers on Saturday. Los Angeles beat New Orleans in all three games last year. Bucks host the Grizzlies on Saturday. Memphis has beaten Milwaukee in nine of their last 11 games.