NEW ORLEANS, LA – Anthony Davis shrugged off a constant cascade of boos and reminded a packed crowd exactly what it lost when the six-time All-Star’s trade request was finally fulfilled.
Davis capped a 41-point performance in his return to New Orleans by intercepting Jrue Holiday’s inbounds pass with 5 seconds left and making a pair of game-sealing free throws, and the Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to nine with a 114-110 victory over the Pelicans on Wednesday night.
“Obviously, the emotions was high,” Davis said. “I think this game was circled on both calendars. And they came out guns blazing and we were able to come out with the win.”
An energetic crowd booed Davis during introductions and virtually every time he handled the ball, only to see him and new teammate LeBron James take over in the fourth quarter.
James had 29 points and 11 assists, scoring 15 points in the final period, when Kyle Kuzma added nine of his 16 points to help the Lakers erase a 10-point deficit.
“My teammates kept telling me, ‘AD, don’t worry about it. We’re going to get this win. We’ll find a way to win it for you,’” said Davis, who spent his first seven years in New Orleans.
Kuzma gave the Lakers the lead for good when he hit a 3-pointer from the left corner with 1:07 to go, making it 111-109.
New Orleans trimmed it to 111-110 when Josh Hart hit one of two free throws, and after a turnover by James as he was swarmed in the paint, JJ Redick’s open 3 for the lead rimmed out. The Pelicans were forced to foul Davis, who missed one of two free throws, giving the Pelicans 5 seconds to run a play for the tie or lead. But that’s when Davis sealed it, stepping in front of Brandon Ingram for his third steal.