Anthony Davis scores career-high 59 points to pace New Orleans Pelicans

By Dana Gauruder, The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 22, 2016 at 12:38 AM
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The rim kept getting bigger and bigger for Anthony Davis on Sunday afternoon. He felt like he couldn't miss, which led to a rare feat for the New Orleans Pelicans' All-Star power forward.

Davis poured in a career-high 59 points, the NBA's highest-scoring outing this season, to carry the New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-106 victory over the slumping Detroit Pistons at The Palace.

The All-Star power forward shot 24-for-34 from the field and made 9-of-10 free throw attempts. He also grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds.

Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Webber are the only other players in the past 30 seasons to have a 50-point, 20-rebound performance. He's the second-youngest player in NBA history to have a 50-20 game.

"My teammates and coaches try to lean on me a lot and I try to go out there and be as special as I can," said Davis, whose previous career high was 43 points, which he reached three times. "Every night is not that way. Every night, you're not going to shoot the ball the way I did. But the night you do, you've got to enjoy it. I'm definitely honored to be in the conversation and in the books with C-Webb and Shaq."

Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins had the previous NBA high this season with 56 points. Davis set franchise records for points, field goals made and field goals attempted, as well as the single-game scoring record at The Palace, which opened during the 1988-89 season.

"They kept trying to feed me the ball and I just tried to make the most out of it," Davis said. "After awhile, you feel like any shot you put up is going to go in. I definitely felt like that tonight."

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry saw a similar shooting performance as a Golden State assistant. He was more concerned with pulling out a victory -- it was a four-point game in the final minute -- than Davis' monster outing.

"I was there when Klay Thompson scored 37 in a quarter and you don't enjoy it until afterward," Gentry said. "(Then) you really appreciate what he's done. He's a great mid-range shooter and when he gets into a rhythm, things like that can happen out there."

Point guard Jrue Holiday contributed 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for New Orleans (22-33), which has won the last eight meetings.

Point guard Reggie Jackson's 34 points led the Pistons (27-29), who have lost a season-high five straight.

"That one's on me," Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You've got to come up with something. The guy can't get 59. That's on me. That's terrible coaching, period."

Center Andre Drummond had 21 points and 13 rebounds and forward Tobias Harris, playing his second game since he was acquired from Orlando, added 16 points.

Several players took turns guarding Davis, particularly Drummond, and couldn't stop him.

"You can sit here and say be more physical with him but really tonight, he was just in a zone," Harris said. "He didn't score 59 points on one guy. He scored pretty much on everybody out there."

Both teams lost frontcourt players in the first quarter. Detroit power forward Anthony Tolliver injured his right knee colliding with Drummond and New Orleans center Omer Asik sprained his right ankle.

Davis entered the game averaging 23.6 points and 9.9 rebounds. He exceeded those averages in the first half, piling up 26 points and 13 rebounds.

He also scored the first two baskets of the second half and established his new career high with an elbow jumper with 8:44 remaining.

NOTES: The Pistons have requested an extension to medically approve their trade deadline deal with Houston. They acquired PF Donatas Motiejunas and SG Marcus Thornton for C Joel Anthony and a first-round pick on Thursday, pending physical exams. They have concerns about Motiejunas' back after he went through an examination on Saturday. "We've got a lot of doctors involved, so we need more time," coach Stan Van Gundy said. ... Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry bristled prior to the game at the notion that PF Anthony Davis has not played at a superstar level this season. "I'd like to see him guarded by one guy and not being double-teamed but that's not the case," Gentry said. "If we were having a good year as a team, and not being decimated by injuries, there would be talk of him for MVP." ... The Pistons play Eastern Conference leader Cleveland on the road Monday, while the Pelicans head to Washington for a Tuesday matchup. ... New Orleans has used 24 lineups. ... The Pistons are 20-7 when they shoot 33 percent or better on 3-point attempts.

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