The New Orleans Pelicans allowed 116 points to the Phoenix Suns at the Smoothie King Center on Monday but still walked away with a nine-point victory thanks to the individual brilliance of Anthony Davis.
The big man destroyed the Suns with 53 points, 18 rebounds, three assists and five blocks while shooting 16-of-29 from the field and setting a career-high with 21 made free throws on 26 attempts, according to the Advocate's Christian Boutwell.
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He also tied an NBA record in the process, per Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN Stats & Info):
Twitter naturally reacted to his monster game, starting with his own team:
New Orleans is now 34-26 and within 1.5 games of the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference even though it is playing without the injured DeMarcus Cousins, who was lost for the season with an Achilles injury.
Davis' greatness is the primary reason the Pelicans are not only winning but also competing with some of the best teams in the league in a tight Western Conference playoff race.
Monday's performance tied a record, as pointed out in the aforementioned ESPN tweet, but it was also more of the same in a pattern of dominant statistical performances:
Davis is a five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team selection, so basketball fans have grown accustomed to seeing him stuff the stat sheet throughout his career. Still, his play entering the stretch run of this season has propelled the Pelicans as a true contender in the West and will surely give top-seeded squads in the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets pause when evaluating the postseason landscape.
Even those teams would have their hands full trying to stop Davis throughout a best-of-seven series.
He wasn't without some minor flaws against the Suns, though, as Twitter pointed out in tongue-in-cheek fashion:
Here are the best of some of the other reactions:
New Orleans has now won six games in a row and continues climbing up the standings. It will be put to the test Wednesday when it hits the road to face the Spurs in a head-to-head showdown that will directly impact the race for the No. 3 seed.
If Davis plays like he did Monday, the Pelicans will likely be in position to steal a win on the road and continue their streak.