Anthony Davis put up career-high numbers in win over Lakers - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Anthony Davis put up career-high numbers in win over Lakers

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© Photo by Kyle Encar © Photo by Kyle Encar

NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Pelicans accomplished much more than just reaching the .500 mark Friday night when they successfully defended their home court versus the LA Lakers, triumphing 96-85 in front of a sold out New Orleans Arena. 

The Pels also snapped an 11-game regular season losing streak versus the Lakers, and the youngest team in the NBA learned how to turn up the intensity in the final quarter. Perhaps most importantly, 20-year-old forward Anthony Davis seemed to instantly grow up and embody the lofty predictions surrounding him in the game's second half. 

Davis posted a career high 32 points, along with 6 blocked shots and 12 rebounds. But it's the way he did it, and when, that's most promising. 

The Pelicans came out of the half flat in the third quarter, again. It's a problem that's plagued New Orleans dating back to last season. The Lakers held the Pelicans to a season-low 14 point in the third period. New Orleans shot just 23.8% during the quarter, trimming their 7 point half time lead to just 3.

This time, Davis refused to accept watching another lead slip away. He snapped into action, commanding the ball, slamming and dunking it through the rim again and again, much to the delight of the crowd and his teammates, who fed off his energy. 

"They were running to the wings, so I got a lot of easy dunks out of transition,'' Davis said. "That's something we've got to continue doing. I'm just trying to take what the defense gives me.''  

As the crowd filling the New Orleans Arena swelled the building with chants of "MVP," the Pelicans cruised to victory by getting hot at exactly the right moment, out scoring LA 27-19 in the final period, thanks to Davis' spark. 

"You can see that he's determined to be the best,'' said point guard Jrue Holiday, who had 13 points and played his most complete game yet as a Pelican. "It's clear in the way he deals with and accepts pressure and how hard he work in everything he does. The sky is the limit for him."

Holiday ended the night with 13 assists, which he also humbly chalks up in large part to Davis. 

"It's easy with A.D.," Holiday said. "You've just got to throw it somewhere in the vicinity of the basketball court."

Davis, in fact, reached his 24th career double-double before halftime. 

"He plays hard," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "When you can get out and beat everybody down the floor and get layups and dunk after dunk, he makes it easy on everybody.''

New Orleans effectively shared the ball with 21 assists on 32 made field goals. The Pelicans also played up tempo, wining in fast break points 22-5. 

The Pelicans' next challenge comes on the road in what will be a traveling trek of rematches: Sunday New Orleans looks for revenge against the Phoenix Suns. Tuesday, the Pelicans face off again against the Lakers again, this time in the Staples Center. 

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