Anthony Davis got the chance for his closeup and took advantage of it Friday night. Davis scored a career-high 32 points (on 12-of-18 shooting) to lead the host New Orleans Pelicans to a 96-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
“He’s good,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said about Davis when interviewed by Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s Jon Ireland. “He runs the floor, he’s a real good player. Part of it was us, but he’s a budding star.”
Davis also snagged 12 rebounds and had 6 blocked shots.
The Lakers were in the game till the 4th quarter, Steve Blake nailed a 3-pointer with 6:28 left to cut the deficit to 76-74. However, NO outscored them (20-11) down the stretch.
“We just turned the ball over” Steve Blake said to Ireland. “It slipped out of my hand a couple times.” Blake scored 13 points (on 4-of-11 shooting), dished out 8 assists, but he had 5 turnovers.
The Lakers didn’t get into New Orleans until 3:30am after playing the Rockets in Houston on Thursday night in an emotional win.
“Fatigue was a big part of it,” Blake said. “But, we definitely played like it was one (2nd of a back to back). We need to be more mentally tough.”
Chris Kaman played a good game, he scored a team-high 16 points (on 7-of-13 field goal attempts), he grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots in just 24 minutes, but he wasn’t on the court much in the final period.
“I thought we needed somebody inside to get rebounds,” coach Mike D’Antoni said of his decision to leave Kaman on the bench in the 4th quarter and go with Jordan Hill. “Kaman did play well.” Hill scored just 4 points, but he grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds.
“I really was off tonight,” Gasol said. “I had a lot of open looks and just had an off night. He’s (Davis) a really good defensive player. It bothers me, it frustrates me (with Kobe Bryant out) that I couldn’t deliver. I needed to play smarter and use my experience to my advantage.”
After making 16-of-35 3-pointers (45.7%) against Houston, LA made just 6 of 19 (31.6%) against the Pelicans. Overall, the Lakers made just 38.8% of their FG attempts. Nick Young chipped in with 13 points and Jodie Meeks pumped in 11 points.
Eric Gordon added 16 points for NO. Jrue Holiday added 13 points, but ran the offense efficiently as he handed out 13 assists.
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