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Babbitt scores 24 points for Pelicans

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Luke Babbitt was the best player on the floor for the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night. But it wasn't enough to prevent a 111-104 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Babbitt, the former Nevada Wolf Pack and Galena High forward, scored a career-high 24 points and also pulled down seven rebounds for the Pelicans. Babbitt played a season-high 34 minutes for the Pelicans and was 8-of-18 from the floor and 4-of-8 on 3-pointers. He also was 4-of-4 from the free throw line and had two assists.

Babbitt has played in 24 games this season for the Pelicans after spending the past three seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He is averaging 5.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16 minutes a game.

Babbitt, the No. 16 pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2011 NBA draft, scored 11 points in the first half against the Rockets. He hit three 3-pointers in a span of just 2:07 as the Pelicans built a 56-44 lead in the second quarter.

Babbitt added six more points in the third quarter. His jumper gave the Pelicans a 63-48 lead with 10:01 to go in the quarter, his layup made it 65-55 with 7:28 to go and his jumper gave New Orleans a 67-58 advantage with 6:40 left.

Babbitt had a pair of free throws in the fourth quarter as New Orleans opened a 97-92 lead with 5:20 to go. His 3-pointer made the score 100-92 with 4:38 left and his final two points of the night gave the Pelicans a 104-96 lead with 2:48 to play,.

New Orleans, though, would not score the rest of the game as the Rockets closed the game on a 15-0 run.

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