“I just tried to get us going on both ends of the floor. I was able just to continue to make shots,” Davis said.
That’s quite an understatement.
Davis set a season-high for points on Sunday and compiled a stat line rarely seen in the NBA. In the process, he helped the New Orleans Pelicans rebound from a 19-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Knicks in overtime.
“AD was just huge for us. When he gets into those zones like that, he’s really good,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.
This was Davis’ fifth career game with at least 45 points and 15 rebounds. The last player with as many or more in his career? Shaquille O’Neal, who had seven in his 19-year career, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Davis added four steals and three blocks against New York. It was his second career game with at least 45 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks and three steals in a game. Hakeem Olajuwon is the only other player to produce that stat line more than once in the last 35 years, per ESPN Stats and Information.
“Someone said that he plays well here and I hope that continues,” Gentry said after Davis’ third straight game with at least 35 points at Madison Square Garden. “I thought he was phenomenal, he just did a great job.”
Davis said he knew he was feeling good when his 85-foot heave after the third-quarter buzzer connected.
“You never really make those so when it went in, it just kind of felt like tonight was definitely my night,” he said.
Davis had 13 points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal in the fourth quarter and overtime to help lift New Orleans, which trailed by 19 with 1:22 left in the third quarter.
The Pelicans outscored the Knicks, 13-4, to close regulation as Davis tied the game with a layup with 3.5 seconds to play.
His 15-foot turnaround jumper gave the Pelicans a three-point lead with 1:07 left that they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Every shot feels good when it comes out of my hands,” Davis said.
Sunday’s performance was another standout game in what has been a remarkable season for Davis. The 24-year-old ranks in the top 10 in the NBA in points per game, rebounds per game, blocks per game and field goal percentage. After Sunday’s win, Davis believes the Pelicans have their best basketball ahead of them.
“I feel like we’re a great team; we just have to continue to battle,” Davis said of New Orleans, which is in sixth place in the Western Conference. “We turn the ball over a lot because of the way we play but that’s not an excuse. (If) we continue to take care of the basketball and get good looks every time down the floor, we can get whatever we want. We just got to keep fighting defensively.”