Normally, a 39-point, 11-rebound performance by Anthony Davis would result in a New Orleans Pelicans win.
That was not the case Thursday night, as the Pelicans lost 99-96 to the Los Angeles Lakers inside the Smoothie King Center thanks to Kobe Bryant's 27 points and 12 rebounds.
Davis played a fantastic game. He made 16 of his 25 field-goal attempts and shot 7-of-12 from the free-throw line. It was, for the most part, a stellar AD-type game. Lakers Nation marveled at the greatness the All-Star big man displayed:
Lakers Nation @LakersNation
THIS JUST IN: Anthony Davis is really, really good2016-2-5 04:17:25
Mike Trudell of Lakers.com noticed how easy it was for Davis to attack the young Lakers bigs offensively, though he was not having a great game at the other end of the court:
Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Anthony Davis is scoring easily for New Orleans, 13 for 21 for 31 points, but hasn’t been disruptive on D. Has 1 block, no steals, 6 boards.2016-2-5 04:36:25
Despite Davis' offensive explosion, the Pelicans trailed for most of the contest against the worst team in the Western Conference. While the Lakers had the luxury of a balanced scoring attack, only four of the 10 Pelicans who saw the floor Thursday scored more than two points.
But being the superstar, Davis will get the brunt of the blame. Brett Dawson of the New Orleans Advocate noted:
Brett Dawson @BDawsonWrites
This might be the worst 37-point, 11-rebound game Anthony Davis has ever had.2016-2-5 04:58:43
Davis played 39 minutes, and New Orleans needed him in every one of them. Fatigue was sure to set in at some point, and then this happened:
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The missed breakaway dunk could've changed the game's outcome. If Davis had made that, the last shot of the contest would not have been a game-tying three-point attempt by Jrue Holiday. Twitter reacted accordingly, starting with Zach Harper of CBS Sports:
Zach Harper @talkhoops
Oh Brow...2016-2-5 04:57:32
SB Nation's the Bird Writes couldn't fathom what happened:
The Bird Writes @thebirdwrites
WHAT JUST HAPPENED I DON'T UNDERSTAND2016-2-5 04:57:43
ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth had only one word:
Cassidy Hubbarth @CassidyHubbarth
Anthony Davis.....bruh.2016-2-5 04:57:49
And Fox Sports Live channeled its inner Adam Sandler:
That wasn't a good look for a big man who will be participating in the skills competition during All-Star Weekend.
But Davis can't do everything. These kinds of performances should result in wins, but the Brow didn't have enough help to get a victory.
This was a microcosm of New Orleans' season, which continues to be a frustrating one for the star big man.
Even though Davis missed that dunk, he had the hot hand for the Pelicans all night. New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry knows that, and he admitted Davis should've gotten more touches, per Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com:
Jim Eichenhofer @Jim_Eichenhofer
Alvin Gentry said even though Anthony Davis had huge game, #Pelicans didn't get him ball enough: "He should've had 30 shots."2016-2-5 05:50:47
For as great of a game as Davis had, losing three games in a row weighs more on the mind than having a near-40-point, 10-rebound game.
“I don’t care about any of that," Davis said, per Eichenhofer. "I care about the win. Obviously, it wasn’t enough to get the job done tonight.”
The Pelicans fell behind 59-48 at the end of the first half, and it was too large of a hole for the Pelicans to crawl out of. Davis addressed that as well, knowing the Pelicans can't afford to get that far behind against the 11-win Lakers.
“We can’t allow ourselves to get off to starts like that, especially when we’re at home, and trying to be in a playoff race. We’ve been playing well the last couple weeks, (but now we are) taking steps backward.”
New Orleans will be off until Saturday, but it will face a tough test in trying to snap its three-game losing streak, going on the road to face the Cleveland Cavaliers.