WASHINGTON (AFP) - Anthony Davis scored a career-high 59 points and grabbed 20 rebounds Sunday in one of the NBA's most epic performances, powering the New Orleans Pelicans over host Detroit 111-106.
On a day when LeBron James powered the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 115-92 rout of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Davis stole the show with an effort for the ages.
The 22-year-old forward scored eight points in the first quarter, 18 in the second, 14 more in the third and 19 in the fourth quarter with the game still in doubt to produce the most points by any NBA player in a game this season.
"Everybody on the bench was saying, 'That's a lot of points. He can score them all, you might as well get 60,'" Davis said. "It's great to finally score 50. Now that I've got that off my shoulders, I can go out and just keep playing.
"We play hard, play great defense, play with a lot of energy. We're just clicking on all cylinders right now." Davis became only the third NBA player since 1983 with 50 points and 20 rebounds in a game, the first since Chris Webber had 51 points and 26 rebounds in 2001. Shaquille O'Neal had a career-high 61 points and 23 rebounds in a 2000 game.
"It's great to be in the category with those two guys who dominated the game," Davis said.
Davis connected of 24-of-34 shots from the floor and still managed to pass off four assists and block a shot. He made both 3-pointers he attempted and went 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
"I just came out with a lot of energy and played very well, shot real well," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of setting me up, getting me the ball so I could score.
"I'm going to live it up tonight and hopefully I can do the same thing again." Davis is doing everything he can to keep the magic going.
"I told the equipment manager to give me the exact same things you gave me today, practice jersey, everything," Davis said.
At 22-33, the Pelicans are 5 1/2 games behind Houston for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, but Davis says New Orleans is ready for a late-season surge.
"A little tired but happy we got that win. It's very important," Davis said. "We want to have the best record in the second half of the season. We just try to come out and play with a lot of energy. We're trying to make a push to get in the playoffs." At Oklahoma City, James scored 25 points, passed out 11 assists and pulled down seven rebounds to power the Cavaliers' rout of the Thunder.
It was the worst home loss for Oklahoma City since 2009 in a game where both Durant and Russell Westbrook played for the Thunder.
Kevin Love had 29 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland while Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Durant had 26 points and Westbrook 20 in a losing cause.