The Los Angeles Clippers finished a potentially disastrous NBA road trip on a strong note, following up their impressive upset of the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 114-96 victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans.
"It was average, it was OK," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said of the six-game road swing that yielded three victories.
"Obviously, we won three games, we went .500," Rivers said. "In years past, that's probably good, but it's not good enough.
"It could have been an awful trip, but then we turned it into a pretty good trip. We think we're better than that. I think we're better than that. We're asking a lot, but if you want to be special, you have to ask a lot of them."
Blake Griffin shook off a sluggish offensive start to score 13 of his 27 points in the decisive third quarter for the Clippers.
Point guard Chris Paul produced 17 points and 13 assists with eight rebounds as the Clippers avoided a let-down in the wake of their 113-94 drubbing of the reigning champion Cavaliers in Cleveland.
After New Orleans jumped out to a 30-25 first quarter lead behind Anthony Davis' eight points, Los Angeles held the Pelicans to 66 points in the final three quarters.
"We'll take it," Paul said. "We started off 1-3 (on the road trip) with our last two games in Cleveland and then here (on the end) of a back-to-back. I'm glad how we closed out the trip."
The Pelicans had won their last five games at home, but were in trouble after the league's leading scorer, Anthony Davis, hurt his right shoulder late in the first quarter.
Davis returned to the contest, but appeared to be in pain even as he scored a team-high 21 points for the Pelicans.
He was the only New Orleans starter to score in double figures.