Anthony Davis recorded career-highs in points (32) and blocks (six) while also grabbing 12 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Los Angeles Lakers with a 96-85 win on Friday night.
The Pelicans outscored the Lakers 27-19 in the fourth quarter and took advantage of some late Los Angeles turnovers to secure the win.
New Orleans only shot 43.7 percent from the floor, but it took care of the basketball, turning the ball over a slim eight times.
LA hit on only 38.8 percent of its shots and converted on a mere 65.4 percent of its free-throw attempts.
Let's break down what happened in this one.
Anthony Davis Dominated Pau Gasol
To be perfectly honest, saying Davis "dominated" Pau Gasol is probably being kind.
Davis was all over Gasol underneath the basket, with all six of his blocks coming on shot attempts from the Spaniard. He held Gasol to nine points off 3-of-12 shooting and outplayed in every facet of the game.
Not only did Davis make life miserable for Gasol by swatting his shots, but he also continuously pulled him away from the basket on the other end and drained jumpers right in his grill.
Davis ran the floor like a gazelle, consistently beating the Lakers down the floor in transition and getting easy buckets at the rim. He also made it nearly impossible for Los Angeles to get shots at the cup.
This may have been the best game of Davis' young career.
Lakers Settled too Much
Yes, Davis served as a stout rim protector tonight, but that's no excuse for the Lakers' poor shot selection, specifically down the stretch.
LA played a lot of one-on-one offense in the second half, settling for jumpers that clanked off the rim more often than not. Was that likely a product of the Lakers playing on back-to-back nights? Sure, but in that case, take the ball to the hole. Or, at the very least, generate good ball movement to create good shots.
Even though Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar played alright, the Lakers definitely missed Steve Nash in this one, who sat the game out to rest.
Free Throws, Free Throws, Free Throws
The Lakers shot only 17-of-26 at the charity stripe in this one, with Jordan Hill going a putrid 0-of-6.
Yes, they lost by 11, but if they (namely Hill) made a few of those nine misses, don't you think the game would have been played differently in the fourth quarter?
Hill is a lifetime 67.3 percent shooter from the line. While that is certainly not great, it definitely means that he should do better than 0-for-6. That's just inexcusable.
Despite the fact that Los Angeles shot the ball poorly and missed some free throws, it was still in the game with a couple of minutes to play. However, the Lakers turned the ball over three times in four trips, and all three giveaways led to Pelicans points on the other end.
New Orleans absolutely deserves credit for playing stingy defense and making it difficult on LA, but those turnovers were relatively unforced errors that could have (and should have) been avoided.
Plus, the Lakers were careless with the ball earlier in the period, as well.
You can't give a team that has Anthony Davis on it the opportunity to score points in transition, and that is what Los Angeles did over the course of the final 12 minutes.