Despite not being a very good 3-point shooter, Anthony Davis scored a buzzer beating shot from way way back to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 116-113 dramatic win over the Oklahoma City Thunder with a scorching Russell Westbrook and a less efficient Kevin Durant, more worried about what people think of him and his All-Star selection.
In a dramatic finish, the Pelicans had 1.2 seconds to inbound the ball and put up a shot with the game tied at 113-113. Previously, Russell Westbrook got away with a miss by being fouled after the play and hitting all three free throw attempts to tie the game. But both he and Kevin Durant couldn’t do enough to disturb Davis as he pulled up for the final shot of the game and stunned the home fans, once again seeing their team lose a very important game to their chances of finishing in the top 8.
Davis was a one-man wrecking crew for the Pelicans, scoring 41 points on 15-of-23 from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 from the line. He got help from Tyreke Evans who scored 22 points and Ryan Anderson with 17, improving their record to 27-23 which still leaves them a game behind 8th place in the West (currently held by the Phoenix Suns) but keeps them two games above the Thunder, falling back to 25-25 and stagnant at .500.
For the Thunder, it was once again a lot of Russell Westbrook, a little bit of Kevin Durant and not much else. Westbrook scored 48 points and missed the tripe double mark by one rebound (11 assists) while shooting 15-of-28 from the field and 15-of-15 from the line. Kevin Durant, who can’t seem to stay healthy enough for too long, followed with 27 points but only 9-of-26 from the field. He shot a terrible 2-of-11 from the field in the fourth quarter, all six of his points coming on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers with Westbrook feeding him the assists.
The bench units seemed to be the ultimate difference. While the Pelicans have Anderson with a guaranteed 15 points or more each night and also getting 15 points from Quincy Poindexter this time, the Thunder seem to keep downgrading their unit despite all of their moves. Perry Jones, Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins aren’t going to be offensive help on most nights, but the combination of Reggie Jackson and Dion Waiters isn’t taking off, as it seems that putting two selfish, ball-needing guards isn’t working for some surprising reason.
The Thunder seemed to be focused on Westbrook having back-to-back 45-point games, instead of their declining defense, their incredibly predictable offense or the problems of Kevin Durant repeating his incredible season from a year ago or being unable to lift this team to the promised playoff land. At least Durant is battling the important things, like inviting players to one-on-one duels for an All-Star spot, tired of hearing he doesn’t deserve to be in the game.