NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play for New Orleans anymore (he, through his agent, has requested a trade). In a blowout loss Tuesday night, he noticed his teammates might have felt the same way.
“We sucked,” Davis said. “Nobody was interested in playing, is what it looked like.”
Davis scored just three points on 1-of-9 shooting and was thoroughly outplayed by Orlando center Nikola Vucevic as the Magic beat the listless Pelicans 118-88.
“Obviously I missed a lot of shots, a lot of easy shots — layups and stuff that I normally make — early in the game,” Davis added. “But they came out more desperate. They played like they were playing for something, and they showed it.”
Davis played 24 minutes in his third game since his agent told New Orleans the six-time All-Star wanted to be traded to a championship-contending team and won’t sign an extension with the Pelicans.
It was also his third game since returning from an injured left index finger. In his first game back, he had 32 points in a win over Minnesota, but he has averaged 8.5 points over the two games since.
Davis’ scoring output Tuesday was the lowest of his career in any game where he played at least 21 minutes.
The reeling Pelicans (25-33), who’ve lost six of seven, sit in 13th place in the West, six games behind Sacramento for that conference’s final playoff spot with 24 games left.
While the Magic (26-32) remain below .500, they’ve won four straight — including three straight on the road by 16 or more — to pull within a two games of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot as the All-Star break approaches.
The normally up-tempo Pelicans, who came in averaging almost 116 points per game, shot 38.3 percent (36 of 94) en route to their lowest single-game point total this season.
E'Twaun Moore, who has struggled with injuries this season, scored 19 points in his first start since Jan. 22. Jrue Holiday had 16 for the Pelicans, who briefly got as close as 14 in the middle of the second quarter but trailed by 63-46 at the half.
“It’s definitely embarrassing,” Holiday said of the 30-point loss. “You don’t want to do that anywhere but especially at home.”
Davis’ decision appears to have affected the team.
“What we’re trying to do is just move on from it,” coach Alvin Gentry said. “We need to bury it.
“Whatever our new normal is, we want to get back to that and put all the other stuff behind us and just start playing and trying to win basketball games, and trying to compete and try to get our young players better,” Gentry continued. “That’s all I want to do. That’s it. And I’m not going to talk about it anymore. I’m done talking about it.”