Guard Anthony Morrow scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Pelicans (17-25), who trailed by 16 late in the third quarter. Gordon and guard Austin Rivers added 15 points apiece and forward Anthony Davis chipped in 14.
Point guard Brandon Jennings scored 22 of his game-high 28 points during the second half to carry the Pistons (17-26), who have lost eight of their last nine home games. Center Andre Drummond posted his seventh consecutive double-double with 21 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.
Morrow's 3-pointer with five minutes left pulled the Pelicans within five at 94-89. He made another one with 2:07 left to cut the Pistons' advantage to one and Davis' tip-in with 1:19 remaining gave New Orleans a 99-98 lead.
Smith's putback with 19 seconds left tied it at 101. After a timeout, Gordon drove to the basket for the winner.
Shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope moved Detroit in front with a 3-pointer. Jennings scored on a layup and a 3-pointer, sandwiching forward Josh Smith's layup, to finish an outburst that gave the Pistons a 66-58 lead.
NOTES: Pelicans SF/SG Tyreke Evans missed the game with an illness. ... New Orleans won the last three meetings. ... The Pistons were 2-13 against the Western Conference, including a 1-8 record at home. ... Pelicans PF Anthony Davis and Pistons C Andre Drummond, both second-year players who entered the draft after one college season, were among the 28 players selected by USA Basketball for the 2014-16 USA Men's National Team pool. "The league is younger, so you're going to see more of that," Williams said. "They're not playing against 34- or 35-year-old grizzled veteran big men like I had to play against. It's not Patrick Ewing and (Hakeem) Olajuwon that they're playing against." ... Pistons coach Mo Cheeks has used the same lineup 35 times despite his team's struggles. The most logical change would be to insert SG and sixth man Rodney Stuckey ahead of rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. "He's played well off the bench and I like the things he does when he comes off the bench," Cheeks said. "It would put someone else in a different role. If in fact I do it, I'll figure out what's best for the group and for Stuckey, but I'm not there yet."