Anthony Davis Buzzer Beater Lifts Pelicans Past Thunder
In the biggest game of his career, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis took an inbounds pass 30 feet from the basket, rose up over two defenders, double-clutched and hit the game-winner as time expired. (scroll to the bottom of the story to see video of shot)
Davis' first three pointer of the season ended a wildy entertaining contest, propelling the New Orleans Pelicans past the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-113.
"I had to let it go and have confidence. I fell in the ground and saw it go through the net, I couldn't get up quick enough," said a smiling Davis to Fox Sports New Orleans reporter Jen Hale moments after the shot. "I don't really know what to say right now. I'm still in shock. I just love playing this game."
Davis finished with 41 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
I love having fun with these guys," said Davis. "We knew what was on the line and we came out and battled all night."
With the victory, the Pelicans (27-23) win the season series versus the Thunder (25-25), who currently trail New Orleans by two games in the Western Conference standings. The Pelicans are one game out of the 8 spot, trailing the Phoenix Suns by one game.
New Orleans guard Tyreke Evans finished with a triple-double (22 points, 16 assists, 10 rebounds), while Ryan Anderson came off the bench for 17 points. Despite a strong performance down the stretch from Anderson, like everyone else, he was thinking about Davis' buzzer beater.
"I mean that's just a superstar shot. You rarely see a shot like that go in. Leave it to Anthony to make a ridiculous, double-clutch...it's just crazy," explained Anderson. "He has the ability to make shots like that and it's just unbelievable. That was a superstar play."
A few Thunder superstars had big games. All-Star Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 48 points, two days after scoring 45 in a win over the Pelicans. All-Star Kevin Durant added 27, and got a hand in the face of Davis on the final play, causing Anthony to double-clutch.
"That was a tough shot," said Durant. "Double teamed, double clutch three ball to win the game. You've got to tip your hat to him."
A loud soldout crowd in Oklahoma City, coupled with the current standings, gave the regular season matchup a playoff like atmosphere, something Pelicans head coach Monty Williams understood going into the game.
"We said before the game, if you don't want to be great, step aside and let someone else be great," said Williams. "He (Davis) was not willing to step aside and let someone else be great."
Davis discussed Williams' pregame speech, and was quick to point out that his entire team wasn't willing to step aside.
"Everybody stepped up and said they wanted to be great tonight," said Davis. "That's what we did and that's how we got the win."
New Orleans can celebrate on the flight home, but then it's back to work for a matchup tomorrow night with the Chicago Bulls (30-20).
"Obviously, you don't get a lot of time to celebrate in the NBA. We've got to get ready to play tomorrow."
Tip-off at the Smoothie King Center is set for 6:00.
In case you couldn't tell, that's the Thunder broadcast of the game.