AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN – Few players have ever had the feeling Anthony Davis did Sunday.
The star center scored a franchise-record 59 points and pulled down 20 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons 111-106.
“That was a lot of fun, because the rim looked so big that it felt like everything I shot was going to go in,” Davis said. “I wasn’t keeping track of my point total, but the guys were telling me at the timeouts. They wanted me to get 60.”
The previous club record was 50 points by Jamal Mashburn exactly 13 years earlier against the Grizzlies. Davis went 24-for-34 from the floor and made his only two 3-pointers. He added nine free throws in 10 attempts.
“We made an effort to get him the ball in space, and Jrue (Holiday) did a great job of that,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “That’s a really good team, and Andre Drummond is one of the best centers in this league, so that really shows what A.D. can do when we get him in space.”
Davis had 19 points in the fourth quarter and broke the scoring record for the Palace of Auburn Hills set by LeBron James, who had 48 points in an Eastern Conference finals game on June 1, 2007.
“That one is on me. That was terrible coaching — terrible,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “You’ve got to come up with something. You can’t let a guy get 59. That’s on me.”
Davis joined Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Webber as the only NBA players with 50 points and 20 rebounds in a game since 1983.
“I don’t think it will really sink in until tomorrow what I did today,” Davis said. “But being in the history books with C-Webb and Shaq? That’s something special.”
Holiday came off the bench and scored 20 points, 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 spraining his knee in a collision with Drummond. Marcus Morris shifted to power forward with Tobias Harris playing small forward in his second game with Detroit.
“It’s not like (Davis) was just scoring on one guy out there,” Harris said. “He was scoring on everyone we had. That’s a team thing, and we have to take it as a team.”
Cavaliers 115, Thunder 92
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Love scored 29 points to help streaking Cleveland to the road win.
Love shot 9 of 18 from the field and 11-for-12 at the free-throw line to match his second-best scoring performance of the season.
Spurs 118, Suns 111
In Phoenix, Patty Mills had 21 points, matching his career high with six 3-pointers, and San Antonio pulled away for the victory.
The Spurs improved to 47-9, a franchise-best through 56 games.
Raptors 98, Grizzlies 85
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, Kyle Lowry added 18 and the Raptors beat Memphis for their eighth consecutive home win.
Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 12 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. Cory Joseph scored 14 off the bench to help Toronto rebound from consecutive losses at Minnesota and Chicago.
Hornets 104, Nets 96
In New York, Kemba Walker scored 28 points, Al Jefferson added 18 in his second game back from right knee surgery, and Charlotte extended its winning streak to five games.
Nicolas Batum had 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Hornets, who improved to 6-1 in February.
Mavericks 129, 76ers 103
In Dallas, Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 18 and the Mavericks won for just the second time in their last seven games.
Celtics 121, Nuggets 101
In Denver, Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and 12 assists, leading Boston to the road win.
Pacers 105, Magic 102
In Orlando, Monta Ellis scored 21 points, Paul George had 20 and Indiana won for the fourth time in five games.
Bulls 126, Lakers 115
In Chicago, Derrick Rose and E’Twaun Moore had 24 points apiece to lead the Bulls to the victory in Kobe Bryant’s final game at the United Center.
Trail Blazers 115, Jazz 111
In Portland, C.J. McCollum scored 31 points, including two clinching free throws with 2.7 seconds left, and the Trail Blazers earned their fifth consecutive win.