NEW ORLEANS (AP)-- Jrue Holiday scored 19 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame an eight-point deficit in the final period to beat the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 131-124 on Sunday night.
Rajon Rondo, who sat out the Pelicans' surprising collapse against Sacramento on Friday night, returned with 13 points and 18 assists.
Ben Simmons, who played one season at LSU before being selected first overall in the 2016 draft, had 27 points and 10 rebounds, dazzling the crowd with a handful of explosive, driving dunks, including a reverse jam along the baseline that had the Sixers as close as 108-107 with 7:26 left.
But Holiday responded quickly with one of his five 3's in the fourth quarter, and Davis hit another to make it 114-107.
J.J. Redick, who had 28 points, hit a tough 22-foot jumper that briefly cut the Sixers' deficit to five without about four minutes left, but Holiday again responded with a 3, and his final 3 a couple possessions later gave the Pelicans' an 11-point lead with 2:54 to go.
Already without 6-foot-9 starting forward Robert Covington, the Sixers scratched 7-foot center Joel Embiid minutes before the game because of back stiffness, seemingly providing a Pelicans team powered by All-Star big men Davis and Cousins a considerable advantage.
Instead, Philadelphia outrebounded New Orleans 47-33 and outscored the Pelicans 60-44 in the paint. The Sixers snagged 22 offensive rebounds, which tied a season-high and led to 20 second-chance points.
Pelicans guard E'Twaun Moore capped a 14-point performance with a dunk on a feed from Rondo that helped seal the game.