(WVUE) - The Pelicans looked set to suffer their eleventh straight loss to Golden State and fourth on the season Tuesday night when they trailed 55-43 at the half. Anthony Davis had just six points in the first half against the team that awaits New Orleans in the postseason, if they can beat out Oklahoma City for the 8th seed.
Davis turned his game around after the break, shooting 8-of-11 for 23 points as Monty Williams' squad turned a 36-23 third quarter into a 103-100 victory, thanks in large part to his stud forward.
"He and I have been talking about him playing with the dog that he played with a couple weeks ago and we had a conversation yesterday about that," Williams said. "I hadn't seen that dog any more or lately and he came out in the second half and he carried us."
After 'M-V-P' chants reigned down on the 22-year-old, he reflected on his polarized performance "I just kept shooting. No one shot was going to take me out of my game, just trying to get shots and knock them down. Tyreke did a good job the first couple plays finding me and I just knocked down shots and concentrated on not missing them. It was frustrating, but I never let it get to me, I just keep shooting the ball."
New Orleans now has a half game lead over the Thunder for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference and a ticket to California to face the Warriors in a best-of-seven series. It's a tall task that is still five games away but Tuesday's statement performance went a long way toward changing perception:
"We feel real good about beating the best team in the NBA," Coach Williams said. "They played tonight, they didn't rest their guys, they went after it so it's a great marker for us."
"We've played them four times," Davis said. "They know what we do, we know what they do. It's not going to change, it's just about who wants it more."
The Pelicans are back in action tonight in Memphis, who sport a 52-25 record. Tip-off is set for 7 PM.