Anthony Davis returned from a three-week absence to score 32 points before his New Orleans Pelicans teammates took over in the fourth quarter of a 122-117 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Davis, who was booed during his pregame introduction and whenever he touched the ball during his first appearance since asking for a trade and recovering from a finger injury, made 11 of 15 field-goal attempts and 10 of 11 free-throw attempts. He also grabbed nine rebounds.
The All-Star forward sat out the final 15-plus minutes of a close game, but there was no indication of a health issue as he stayed on the bench.
Jrue Holiday had 27 points, rookie Kenrich Williams added 19 and Tim Frazier and Julius Randle had 12 each for New Orleans.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points, Andrew Wiggins added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Isaiah Canaan scored 12 for the Timberwolves. Jeff Teague, who came off the bench in his return from an eight-game absence caused by a foot injury, scored 12.
The Wolves led by as many as 18 points in the first half before settling for a halftime tie.
Holiday scored New Orleans' first four points of the third quarter, Davis scored the next eight and Williams scored the next 13 as the Pelicans built an 87-74 lead.
After Frazier's 3-pointer gave New Orleans its biggest lead at 90-76, the Wolves scored the final 12 points to pull within two at the end of the quarter.
Davis sat out the final three minutes of the third quarter and continued sitting as Minnesota twice got within a point.
Williams made two 3-pointers to help the Pelicans increase the lead to 110-103 with 3:19 remaining. Towns scored seven points as the Wolves closed within 112-110 with 1:39 left.
Minnesota had a chance to tie or go ahead, but Frazier made a steal that led to a Randle basket, giving New Orleans a 114-110 lead with 42.5 seconds left.
Towns broke free for a dunk, but Randle answered by a powering his way to a basket from the lane with 23.6 seconds left.
Dario Saric's 3-pointer got Minnesota within three with 7.7 seconds left, but Randle made four free throws sandwiching a Teague layup to complete the victory.
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