In a game I’m sure you all watched instead of the absolutely bananas college football national championship between Clemson and Alabama, the New Orleans Pelicans finally got into the win column for the 2017 calendar year thanks to another superstar effort from Anthony Davis and a barrage of three point bombs from the rest of the cast.
Davis is a monster, we all know this. The night-to-night intrigue with Anthony Davis isn’t will he have a good game, no it’s how great of a game will Davis have? Tonight Davis made a little bit of history as the only player since 1983 to have 40 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks in under 30 minutes of action. Moreover, tonight marked Davis’ fifth straight game of recording at least 20 points and 15 rebounds. Only Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Kevin Love have accomplished that over the last 30 years.
But because this is Anthony Davis we’re talking about and he’s prone to things like this, his stellar game was cut short because of a hip injury. This time it wasn’t by his own doing as Davis was flagrantly fouled by Kyle O’Quinn, who is now a certifiable weenie for the rest of time in my book, and got knocked into a row of fans along the baseline.
They can't stop Anthony Davis, so they just trying to murder him. pic.twitter.com/tzK3820HoD— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 10, 2017
Davis said it’s just a bruise, and between X-rays coming back negative and New Orleans not having to play again until Thursday, he should be okay for the Brooklyn game.
The O’Quinn flagrant was hardly the only piece of controversy surrounding tonight’s game. Carmelo Anthony got tossed in the third quarter after picking up two technical fouls for voicing his displeasure with a no-call on a shot attempt of his. Melo’s ejection coincided with New Orleans putting the game out of reach thanks to a 31-15 scoring advantage in the third quarter. New Orleans ended the frame leading the now Melo-less Knicks 91-66.
But between Anthony’s ejection and O’Quinn’s flagrant, we still haven’t gotten to the biggest piece of controversy: Derrick Rose was nowhere to be found and reportedly the Knicks had no idea why he wasn’t in Madison Square Garden last night.
“Everything will become clear later on,” Knick coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We want to respect whatever he’s going through and we’re just not going to comment about it.”
Well all right then. (In post-game interviews, Joakim Noah said Rose was okay.)
All the weirdness from last night aside, the Pelicans played a very good game against a Knick team that is falling apart. Much like the victory over the Knicks in New Orleans, almost everyone for the Pelicans played a key role in getting win number 15 on the year. Tyreke Evans was the second leading scorer for New Orleans with 12 points in 21 minutes off the bench. Buddy Hield, who hit three of five three-point attempts, and Terrence Jones each finished with 11 points. Dante Cunningham and Jrue Holiday each had 9 points. And Langston Galloway had five in his return to New York City.
The three-ball was especially kind to New Orleans tonight, as the Pelicans hit 12 of their 21 attempts. All nine of Dante Cunningham’s points came via a perfect night from beyond the arc. And the Pelicans, mainly Anthony Davis, made their free throws when they got to the line. As a team New Orleans was 16-19 from the line but the bulk of those shots came from Davis being aggressive and getting 12 foul shots all by himself.
Moving forward the Pelicans will have Tuesday and Wednesday off before having to play the Nets, owners of the worst record in the league, in Brooklyn Thursday night. With ample time off, Davis’ hip bruise should be feeling better and allow him to put on an encore performance for the people of New York.