Anthony Davis joins Jordan, Wilt, posts 50 on opening night ... somehow still loses
Mix in a little help, Pelicans
Do not forget about Anthony Davis. Regardless of how excited you are about Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, Devin Booker or any other young, emerging player, the New Orleans Pelicans superstar demands your attention. After a 2015-16 season that was disappointing only because of injuries and the enormous expectations placed on him, Davis opened 2016-17 with one of the most absurd stat lines imaginable: 50 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, seven steals and four blocks.
No one in NBA history had recorded 45 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and five steals in the same game before this, per Elias Sports. The most recent performance that even resembles this came from Vince Carter 15 years ago -- as a member of the Toronto Raptors, he recorded 42 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, five steals and two blocks in 51 minutes. Davis put up his numbers in a regulation game, needing just 41 minutes of playing time.
By doing this in the Pelicans' first game of the season, Davis joined elite company: The only other players to score 50 points in an opener are Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Michael Jordan.
The bad news: Davis' ridiculous line came in a 107-102 loss to the Denver Nuggets. While he shot 17-for-34, his teammates shot 21-for-58. New Orleans shot just 3-for-19 from the 3-point line, and it couldn't contain Denver center Jusuf Nurkic, who finished with 23 points and nine boards. While this is just one game, some of the Pelicans' preseason prognosticators were concerned about this essentially being the story of the season: Davis dominating and his teammates failing him.
The good news: If Davis plays like this, then his teammates don't need to be that much better. It's clear that he can do just about everything for them.
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