Davis scores 59, grabs 20 rebounds as Pelicans top Pistons

AP Photo
6 Comments

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.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Omer Asik left in the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. That resulted in Kendrick Perkins starting the second half at center after not playing in the first half.

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.

UP NEXT

The Pelicans visit Washington on Tuesday.

The Pistons visit Cleveland on Monday.

Steven Adams inks two-year, $25.2 million extension with Grizzlies

Getty Photo
0 Comments

Steven Adams signed a two-year, $25.2 million contract extension with Memphis, which will keep him tied to the team through the 2024-25 season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski broke the news on Saturday.

Adams has been crucial to the Grizzlies’ recent success. He’s coming off his first season with the team, where he averaged career-highs in rebounds (10.0) and assists (3.4). He also helped them lock up the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference and make it to the Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the eventual-champion Warriors 4-2. Despite the improved numbers, a lot of his value is from intangibles that don’t show up in the box score.

Adams spent the first seven years of his career with the Thunder before being traded to New Orleans in the four-team deal that sent Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee. Adams was moved again to Memphis in a package for Jonas Valanciunas.

Adams has found a new home with a young Grizzlies team that is looking to win a championship. The team is built around Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane, but Jackson Jr. is expected to miss time after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot. Memphis will rely on Adams more than ever to begin the season.

Watch Curry, Klay in 3-point shooting contest in Japan. Yeah, they’re good at this.

NBA Japan Games Saturday Night
Jun Sato/WireImage
0 Comments

The NBA went to Japan to promote the brand, play a few games in a huge market — Japan specifically but Asia as a whole — and put on a show.

Is there a better show than Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson draining 3s? Here they are in a 3-point contest during a basketball exhibition (there were some pro dunkers) in Tokyo on Saturday.

Stephen Curry, was there any other possible outcome?

It’s preseason and they are the defending champs — they should be having fun, playing with some joy.

Thompson took part in the shooting contest but is not playing in either of the exhibition games in Japan as the Warriors ease him back into play this season. It’s a marathon of a season and the Warriors need the best version of Klay starting in April, not October.

Report: Pelicans, Nance agree to two-year, $21.6 million extension

0 Comments

Larry Nance has been a stabilizing influence in New Orleans since coming over mid-season as part of the trade for CJ McCollum. Nance is a versatile player who can play the four or the five, knocks down his threes, is very strong on the glass, can be a disruptive defender in passing lanes, and fits in — and he has the veteran attitude of work this team needs.

So the Pelicans have reached an extension to keep the 29-year-old around for two years past this coming season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This is a signing that should make Pelicans fans happy. Importantly, it makes CJ McCollum happy — they are tight and this is something McCollum wanted to see. The money on this deal seems fair, about the league average for a solid rotation player.

Nance is the kind of veteran this team needs considering its young core of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (just turned 25), Herb Jones, and guys like Trey Murphy III, Jose Alvarado, and others. Nance compared it to the young Lakers teams he was on, but noted that team lacked the same level of veteran leadership this Pelicans team has.

We may see more Nance at the five lineups — small ball with Zion at the four — to close games this season in New Orleans, that could be their best lineup because Nance can defend but also spaces the floor for Zion on offense. Coach Willie Green has a lot of different players and matchups to experiment with.

And now he has the stability of Nance for a few more years.

Durant tired of talking Nets dramatic offseason: ‘I didn’t miss any games’

0 Comments

No team had an offseason quite like the Brooklyn Nets. First, they would not give a long-term extension to Kyrie Irving, which sent the star guard looking for a new team (but there were no offers that worked for everyone, so he opted in with Brooklyn). Then Kevin Durant asked for a trade, and to gain a little leverage reportedly threw down an ultimatum of him or the coach and GM. No trade could be found — how much the Nets wanted one is up for debate — so he is back in Brooklyn. And all that is not even getting into the return of Ben Simmons, a trade for Royce O’Neal, or anything else.

The Nets drama and how they move past it has been the talk of training camp. The only talk at training camp, it feels like.

When asked Friday if there were any inaccuracies in the reporting of the Nets summer he would like to clear up, Durant sounded weary of rehashing the summer.

The only thing that will start to move the conversation in a new direction is the Nets playing and winning games (they open the preseason Monday against the 76ers). And even those wins will have the shadow of the offseason cast over them. Durant and Irving made this bed.

Part of the fascination is the Nets remain the team hardest to predict in the league. They arguably have the most talented roster in the league and, if everything comes together just right, they can contend for a title. It’s also possible the wheels fall off early and by Christmas the Nets are looking to trade Durant again. Both things feel possible (even if reality most likely lands somewhere in the middle).

That uncertainty about the Nets’ future is the drama that will keep eyeballs on them — which also means more questions about this past offseason. Durant can choose not to answer them, but the questions aren’t going away.