Anthony Davis showed why he is one of the best players in the NBA in his return to the floor as the New Orleans Pelicans hung on to knock off the Detroit Pistons 88-85 at the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday night.
Davis carried the load on a rough shooting night for the Pelicans who made just 37-of-90 attempts from the floor (41.1 percent), including 2-for-12 from 3-point range (16.7 percent). He finished with 39 points on 17-for-30 shooting from the field and 5-for-7 from the free-throw line to go along with 13 rebounds, eight blocks, three steals and two assists. Tyreke Evans and Alexis Ajinca also made big contributions as New Orleans improved to 33-28 on the season. Evans totaled 21 points on 8-for-20 shooting from the floor with nine assists and four rebounds while Ajinca had 10 points, 11 rebounds and two assists off the bench. No one else scored more than four points for the Pelicans in the win, but Omer Asik did manage 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.
Jodie Meeks carried the Pistons offensively with 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the floor. He had plenty of help thanks to the inside play of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Monroe registered 13 points, 15 rebounds and five assists while Drummond added 13 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks. Reggie Jackson also had a double-double with 14 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and two steals as the Pistons fell to 23-37 on the season.
Jimmer Fredette made a very brief appearance for the Pelicans in the win. He entered the game with 13.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and stayed on the floor for exactly 3.9 seconds. He didn’t record any stats during his short stint, but was a +1 as Evans made 1-of-2 free-throws to give New Orleans the 3-point lead. It is the fourth time this season that he has got into a game for less than 10 seconds.
So far this season, Fredette is averaging a career-low 3.8 points in just 10.5 minutes a night (also a career-low) on 38.4 percent shooting from the floor, including 17.8 percent from the 3-point line. On the positive side, he is shooting career highs from inside the arc (47.2 percent) and from the free-throw line (95 percent). In fact, his tremendous stroke at the charity stripe has given him opportunities to be on the floor in crunch time to help the Pelicans close out games.
Up next for Fredette and New Orleans is a visit from the new look Boston Celtics on Friday night. One of the new faces in Boston is former Sacramento Kings teammate Isaiah Thomas who came to the Celtics in a trade deadline deal with the Phoenix Suns. Thomas has been a nice addition to the Celtics’ bench who is trying to make a push for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.