In order to keep hold of the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans had to get a home win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. Despite not having their best player (Anthony Davis) for nearly half the game due to a scary throat injury, the Pelicans dug deep, holding off every Suns surge, disposing of Phoenix 90-75.

Davis took an inadvertent elbow to the throat from Suns defender Earl Barron less than a minute into the 2nd quarter, suffering a throat contusion. After undergoing several medical tests, Davis couldn't talk, but he could still play basketball. He re-entered the game at the beginning of the 4th quarter, finishing the night with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block.

"I was having trouble swallowing," explained Davis after the game by writing his postgame quotes into a cell phone. "The doctors made sure I was OK and it was no hesitation to go back and play."

With his team in a fight with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final playoff spot out West, Davis wasn't going to miss an opportunity to help his team.

"I just know what position we're in," Davis noted. "I wanted to be with my team and help win this game."

Friday night also marked the return of Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday (pictured), who missed the last 41 games with a stress reaction in his right leg.

"I feel pretty good," said Holiday after the win. "It felt good to get back out there, contribute, and bring some energy. It was fun."

Holiday finished with 2 points and 5 assists, playing solid on-ball defense against the Suns perimeter players.

New Orleans bench was solid from start to finish, led by Dante Cunningham (12 points, 9 rebounds) and Norris Cole (12 points, 6 assists).

Pelicans center Omer Asik was outstanding on the boards, pulling down a season-high 18 rebounds in only 22 minutes of action.

With three games remaining, the Pelicans must finish with at least the same record as OKC to make the playoffs. Both squads currently sit at 43-36.

"We're always going to battle. We're always going to fight," said Holiday. "These last three games are big ones. We know OKC is right on our tail. We're going to give it our all and try to make it to the postseason."

Next up for the Pelicans, a tough matchup in Houston on Sunday with the Rockets. Tip-off is set for 6:00.