New Orleans Pelicans Power Forward Anthony Davis (52 points, 10 rebounds)
Sunday night’s All-Star Game took the term “defense optional” to a whole new level. Scoring records were obliterated as the West defeated the East 192-182. It was the West’s sixth win in the last seven meetings. Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis, playing in front of his home fans in New Orleans, had a night to remember. He shattered the individual record for most points in an All-Star game with 52, taking down Wilt Chamberlain’s mark of 42 that had stood since 1962. Davis also had 10 rebounds. He was 26 for 39 from the field, both of which are new All-Star Game records. 18 of those made field goals were dunks. Davis’s teammates made it their priority to feed him inside early and often, especially in the fourth quarter when he was on the cusp of history. He scored 20 points in the final period. It should be no surprise then that Davis took home the game’s MVP award.
It was a fitting performance for the 23-year-old big man, who was the NBA’s ambassador for the All-Star festivities this past weekend. He took part in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night but lost in the first round, so it was nice to see him able to give his fans something to cheer about on Sunday. After all, Pelicans fans did not have much to get excited about during the first half of the season, as the team underachieved to a 23-34 record and is currently 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the West. Davis has done his job, averaging 27.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, but he hasn’t had much talent around him. Help is on the way though. Immediately following the All-Star Game, the Pelicans completed a blockbuster trade with the Kings to acquire Davis’s All-Star teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, putting arguably the two best big men in the game side by side on the same roster. A trade seemed to be imminent on Sunday night, especially considering how Cousins played just two minutes during the game. All in all, it turned out to be a very successful weekend for Davis and the Pelicans: an All-Star performance for the ages and a superstar acquisition of Cousins that could put this team over the top and make them a very dangerous opponent going forward.