LOS ANGELES, USA – Anthony Davis scored 32 points to turn jeers to cheers, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a 122-117 NBA victory over Minnesota in his first game since asking to be traded.
The Pelicans didn’t ship out their superstar by Thursday’s trade deadline, and with the finger injury that had sidelined him healed he was back in the Pelicans starting lineup.
Boos from the home fans greeted his pregame introduction, and continued whenever he touched the ball in the early going on Friday, February 8 (Saturday, February 9, Manila time).
Davis shook off the awkwardness, scoring 10 quick points and finishing the first half with 24. He grabbed 9 rebounds and blocked 3 shots in 25 minutes on the court.
“It just feels good to be back on the floor playing the game that I love,” Davis said. “I’m going to be here the rest of the year. My job is to play basketball and that’s all I want to do.”
Davis sat out the entire 4th quarter as the Timberwolves made a late push, closing the gap to 114-112 on a dunk from Karl-Anthony Towns with 39 seconds left.
Towns finished with 32 points for Minnesota, but Jrue Holiday, Kenrich Williams and Julius Randle got the job done in the waning seconds.
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said the decision not to send Davis back into the game when things got close was to do with his lack of recent playing time.
“I was not going have him, first game back, play 38-40 minutes,” Gentry said. “That’s why he didn’t go back in the game.” – Rappler.com