|X. Henry||SF||A. Aminu|
|S. Williams||PF||A. Davis|
|P. Gasol||C||J. Smith|
|S. Blake||SG||E. Gordon|
|J. Meeks||PG||J. Holiday|
K. Bryant: Achilles Out
D. Miller Foot Out
R. Anderson Foot Out
Davis Lifts Pelicans Past Lakers 96-85
By Brett Martel
November 09, 2013
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Anthony Davis swatted away Pau Gasol's shot, quickly sprinted toward the other end of the court, took a pass from Eric Gordon and rolled in a driving layup as Jodie Meeks fouled him.
Davis smiled widely and allowed himself a slight fist-pump as his momentum carried him over the baseline. He then sauntered back to free throw line and finished his game-sealing three-point play while a jubilant New Orleans Arena crowd chanted "M-V-P!"
Davis finished with a career-high 32 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and tied a career best with six blocks, leading the New Orleans Pelicans over the Los Angeles Lakers 96-85 on Friday night.
"I mean, he's the franchise. He's that guy. He's the go-to guy and everybody here knows it," said guard Jrue Holiday, whose 13 points and 13 assists gave him his first double-double with New Orleans. "We want him to be that guy. It's awesome to see."
Gordon scored 16 for the Pelicans, who led most of the way in their second straight win. New Orleans had lost 11 regular-season games in a row to the Lakers.
New Orleans broke open a tight contest with a 12-0 run in the final 3:16 that started with Davis' 16-foot jumper and included his fast-break two-handed jam, his block of Gasol and his fast-break layup.
"He's a special player because he's athletic," Gasol said. "He's able to block a shot on one end and sprint to the other end and get a layup ... so you really have to keep up with him because he creates a threat to you that's a little different than other players.
"He's got a good shooting touch. He's got a complete package for his second year in the league," Gasol added. "It's pretty impressive."
The performance forced Pelicans coach Monty Williams to abandon his usual refrain that Davis, the 2012 top overall draft choice, is only "scratching the surface" of his capabilities.
"I don't know what he's scratching, but I know he works his tail off," Williams said. "We're going to enjoy seeing nights like this from him."
Davis matter-of-factly said he was pleased to see results from the work he put into his game since last season ended. "I work on certain things and try to apply it during the game. That's why you work out. That's why you have summer sessions and work with the coaches, work with the team, trainers, whoever, to get better," Davis said. "I'd be disappointed in myself if I hadn't gotten better."
Chris Kaman led Los Angeles with 16 points, while Nick Young and Steve Blake each scored 13.
Steve Nash was in uniform but did not play, part of what coach Mike D'Antoni described as a plan to rest the 39-year-old point guard in the second of games played on back-to-back nights. The Lakers had won in Houston a night earlier and did not arrive in New Orleans until 3 a.m.
Gasol had nine points and 11 rebounds, but said his team needs him to perform better than that when stars like Nash and Kobe Bryant are out.
"I've got to be sharper. I've just got to play a little smarter," Gasol said. "I might not have all the speed and explosiveness that I used to have years ago, but I still have to use my experience and my fundamentals to be able to be effective every single night regardless of who we're playing."
Jordan Hill pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds for the Lakers. Jason Smith scored 14 points for New Orleans. Davis asserted himself in the opening minutes by rising to tip a missed shot three times before it finally dropped in for his first points. He scored soon after by slamming home another missed shot and hitting an 18-footer. By the time the first half was over, had 15 points and 10 rebounds, helping New Orleans to a 55-48 lead.
"Guys are looking for him now a consistent basis," Williams said. "When you get out and beat everybody down the floor and you get layup and dunk after dunk, he makes it easy on everybody else."
NOTES: Outgoing NBA commissioner David Stern, who'll step down at the All-Star break in New Orleans in February, attended the game in what is his last planned official visit to the Big Easy in his current post. Those honoring Stern included Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. After the first quarter, Stern was presented with a framed Pelicans jersey bearing his last name and the No. 30, a nod to his three decades as commissioner. Stern was influential in securing New Orleans' future as an NBA city both after Hurricane Katrina and in 2010, when the NBA made the unprecedented move of purchasing the team from then-owner George Shinn and finding a buyer committed to keeping the club in Louisiana long-term. That buyer was Tom Benson, who also owns of the NFL's Saints. After Katrina, Stern said, "We were determined to do our best to do everything possible to make sure that we would be a part of what we knew would be the growth and redemption of New Orleans. And we did it."
Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
Quotes not yet available.
THE FACT: New Orleans ended an 11-game losing streak to the Lakers, a stretch that included six home losses.
THE LEAD: New Orleans drafted Anthony Davis to be a game-changing big man. The Pelicans might not have expected so much so soon.
Davis finished his night with a career-high 32 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks and early chants of M-V-P as the Pelicans beat the Lakers 96-85 Friday night. The second-year player scored seven of the final 12 points for New Orleans (3-3), had two blocks in the final five minutes and brought the crowd to its feet with some rim-rattling dunks.
This came after Los Angeles (3-4) had cut the Pelicans' one-time eight-point lead to three points on back-to-back Steve Blake baskets and two Nick Young free throws.
New Orleans held the Lakers to just 35 percent shooting in the second half. But the biggest difference for Los Angeles came from the free-throw line, where after taking 20 shots in the opening 24 minutes, it had only six in the final two quarters. Jrue Holiday scored 13 points and had 13 assists for New Orleans, which also had Eric Gordon finish with 16 and Jason Smith with 14.
For Los Angeles, Chris Kaman led with 16 while Blake and Young each added 13. Pau Gasol finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.
QUOTABLE: "When you get out and beat everybody down the floor and you get layup and dunk after dunk, he makes it easy on everybody else. I don't know what he's scratching, but I know he works his tail off. I'm going to be on him for more." -- Pelicans coach Monty Williams on Davis when asked if the second-year player had done more than scratch the surface Friday night.
THE STAT: 6-of-19 -- Los Angeles began the game 1-of-8 from 3-point range and, while the Lakers hit five of them in the second half, the early misses doomed them.
TURNING POINT: Back-to-back dunks by Davis allowed a crowd quieted by a Blake 3-pointer to re-emerge into delirium midway through the fourth quarter. First, Tyreke Evans cleared space with a move toward the basket and delivered a pass to Davis, who authoritatively threw down a dunk with one hand. On the next possession, Davis finished a fast break with an alley-oop.
QUOTABLE II: "It bothers me, frustrates me, but I'm going to continue to try. We're going to continue to try as a team, a unit. Don't do it individually but understand your responsibility within the team." --The Lakers' Gasol, answering a question about whether he was disappointed that he didn't deliver with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash out.
NOT: New Orleans has had problems with mid-game lulls. The Pelicans were just 5-of-21 in the third quarter Friday, scoring a season-low 14 points.
NOTABLE: Davis recorded his 24th career double-double when he finished the first half with 15 points and 10 rebounds. ... The Lakers still have not won back-to-back games this season.
UP NEXT: For the Pelicans, Sunday @ Phoenix, Tuesday @ Lakers, Wednesday @ Utah. For the Lakers, Sunday vs. Minnesota, Tuesday vs. New Orleans, Wednesday @ Denver.
- Lakers vs. MavericksMonta Ellis scores 30 points, Jae Crowder adds 18 points as the Mavericks defeat the Lakers.
- Blake Threads the NeedleSteve Blake threads the needle with a great bounce-pass to Xavier Henry for the layup.
- Fan Night: KobeKobe Bryant stops by Fan Night to discuss, his rehab, return date and the state of the Lakers.
- Practice: Pau Gasol(11/04/13)
- Practice: Steve Nash(11/04/13)
- Practice: Mike D'Antoni(11/04/13)