FINAL FLASHES OF GREATNESS BEFORE …
THE GAMES: Pelicans 114, Dallas Mavericks 112; Brooklyn Nets 126, Pelicans 121; Pelicans 121, L.A. Clippers 117
WHEN: Dec. 28, 2018 (Mavs); Jan. 2 (Nets); Jan. 14 (Clippers)
WHERE: Smoothie King Center; Barclays Center, Brookyln; Staples Center, Los Angeles
ANTHONY DAVIS VS. MAVS: 48 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks
ANTHONY DAVIS VS. NETS: 34 points, 26 rebounds*, 3 blocks
ANTHONY DAVIS VS. CLIPS: 46 points 16 rebounds, 3 steals 12-for-12 FTs
WHAT HAPPENED: They may not have been the most significant games in Davis’ Pelicans career, but the superstar center showed off for fans with a pair of 40 points games — just weeks before those same fans learned the devastating news that he’d demanded a trade.
In a game three days after Christmas, Davis made 20-of-32 shots and outdueled exciting Mavs rookie Luka Doncic in the process. The Pelicans trailed by as much as 15 in the third quarter, but rallied to force a shootout until the final buzzer. Davis scored 11 of the Pelicans final 15 points, including a dramatic 3-point play to secure the win in the final minute.
About a week later, Davis set a new Pelicans franchise record with 26 rebounds during a road loss against the Brooklyn Nets. The Pelicans trailed by as many 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Pelicans rallied to as close as five in the final minutes.
If it’s possible for a player to score a ho-hum 46 points, that’s what AD did against the Clippers in mid-January. He hit all 12 of his free throws and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Pelicans secured a somewhat easy victory on the road over a playoff-bound team. It was impossible for fans to know, but this would be the final 40-point game of Davis’ Pelicans career. The news of his trade demand broke exactly two weeks later on Jan. 28.