AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Anthony Davis scored a franchise-record 59 points and pulled down 20 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons 111-106 on Sunday.
The previous club record was 50 points by Jamal Mashburn exactly 13 years earlier against the Grizzlies. Davis went 24 of 34 from the floor and made his only two 3-pointers. He added nine free throws in 10 tries.
Davis had 19 points in the fourth quarter and broke the scoring record for the Palace of Auburn Hills, set by LeBron James with 48 points in an Eastern Conference finals game on June 1, 2007. The star center joined Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Webber as the only NBA players with 50 points and 20 rebounds in a game since 1983.
Jrue Holiday came off the bench and scored 20 points for the Pelicans – the only other player to reach double figures for New Orleans.
Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 34 points.
The short-handed Pistons lost another key player early on when Anthony Tolliver limped off the floor after banging knees with Andre Drummond. Tolliver didn’t return, so Marcus Morris shifted to power forward with Tobias Harris playing small forward in his second game with Detroit.
The Pistons led for much of the second quarter, but the teams went into the break even after a mental mistake by Drummond. Davis had tipped a missed shot at the buzzer, and the ball was clearly going to fall safely off the rim. However, Drummond lost focus and reached up through the basket to swat the ball off the rim. That made it goaltending and 55-all going into halftime.
The half was another defensive struggle for the Pistons, as the Pelicans shot 45.8 percent from the floor, but Detroit held them to 1-for-7 on 3-pointers. Detroit shot only 41.9 percent but hit five 3-pointers and was an unusual 73.7 percent from the free throw line, including 2 for 3 by Drummond.
Davis had 14 points in the third quarter, giving him 40 in the game, and the Pelicans led 80-75 going into the final period. Detroit scored the first six points of the fourth with Davis on the bench, but he returned with 10:02 to play and scored 19 points in the final 10 minutes.
Pistons: Detroit dressed only 11 players, with guards Jodie Meeks and Spencer Dinwiddie injured, and Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton unavailable due to complications with the trade that brought them to the Pistons from Houston. Motiejunas still hasn’t been cleared after testing his back injury, and Detroit and the Rockets have been given an extension until 6 p.m. on Monday to complete the deal.
The Pelicans visit Washington on Tuesday.
The Pistons visit Cleveland on Monday.