Anthony Davis caps big night with highlight-reel dunk

Associated PressJanuary 26, 2014 

Anthony Davis soared to the rim, the ball held high above his head in his outstretched right hand.

Orlando's Glen Davis tried to get in the way, only to be driven back into the padding under the basket as the Pelicans' forward slammed home a windmill jam.

New Orleans' 20-year-old star took a triumphant stride over the baseline and glared intensely at the crazed crowd, his arms stiff at his side. The play gave New Orleans an eight-point lead with 1:24 left, punctuating a memorable all-around performance that lifted the Pelicans to a 100-92 victory over the Magic on Sunday night.

"I just decided to go up strong, try to dunk it," Davis said. "That just energized the crowd, kind of deflated (Orlando) a little bit and got us going. That was a big play. That's what we needed."

"It's tough," Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said. "You play good defense — actually, great defense — for 18 to 22 seconds and they've got a giant down there who gets the ball and he just goes right back up and dunks it."

Davis finished with 22 points, a career-high 19 rebounds and seven blocked shots. It marked the first time since the franchise was founded as the Charlotte Hornets in 1988 that a player on the club had that many points, rebounds and blocks in the same game.

"His ability to finish in traffic and over top of defenders is second to none," Pelicans Coach Monty Williams said. "When the moment was there tonight, he took over and that's what All-Stars do."

It isn't certain Davis will be on the Western Conference squad when New Orleans hosts the NBA All-Star game Feb. 16. The former University of Kentucky star wasn't voted in by fans as a starter, but could be selected by coaches as a reserve.

"I'm not really worried about that. I'm worried about winning," Davis said. "We know we're not where we want to be record-wise. That's what we've got to focus on, what I've got to focus on. ... If it happens, it happens, but I'm trying to get more wins for the team."

Davis might very well get a vote from Magic Coach Jacque Vaughn, who expressed concerns about containing Davis before the game, then saw his fears realized.

"I prefer not to be proven correct," Vaughn said. "He's a great talent. ... He was trouble for us throughout the course of the night."

Davis had seven of his rebounds on the offensive end, part of the reason New Orleans had 14 second-chance points.

"We've slowed him down before on the offensive glass, but tonight, he had his way with us," Magic forward Kyle O'Quinn said.

Tyreke Evans scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help ensure New Orleans' first back-to-back wins in nearly a month.

Darius Miller was 3-for-3 from three-point range to finish with nine points in 10 minutes. He had a team-best plus-19 while on the court.

"I'm just trying to come out and play hard offensively and defensively," Miller said.

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