NEW ORLEANS — Sometimes, athletes defy all sense of gravity, all sense of what the laws of nature intended humans to do.
So, when Glen Davis situated himself inches to the left of the basket late in the fourth quarter, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis chose that point to be his moment to defy Newton’s laws.
The 6-foot-10, 220-pound forward grabbed a pass from guard Brian Roberts, seamlessly transitioned into an otherworldly being and rose – right arm nearly fully extended with the ball in hand – to throw down an emphatic dunk over Orlando’s Davis.
The play brought those in attendance at the New Orleans Arena to their feet and finished off the Magic.
New Orleans beat Orlando 100-92, winning its second straight game and third in last four.
“That was crazy,” Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans said. “Everybody knows to jump. I don’t know what Big Baby was thinking but, he’ll be on Sports Center tonight.”
Davis finished with 22 points, a career-best 19 rebounds and seven blocks, surely now burnishing what could be an All-Star resume.
“When the moment was there tonight, he took over and that’s what All-Stars do,” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “I don’t know what else he can do. I know the coaches pay attention to the guys around the league who play winning basketball and he has certainly done that.”
Not that Davis hadn’t already had a coming out party – he is, after all, averaging a double-double in his second season – but Sunday night might have been his biggest night yet.
And Evans played a part of it.
Minutes before his game-sealing dunk, Davis combined with New Orleans’ other star of the night when Evans lofted a pass nonchalantly towards the rim, flipping it in perfect position for an oncoming Davis.
The end result? A rim-rattling combination between the two players.
Evans, playing off the bench, added 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
Davis and Evans helped the Pelicans (18-25) outrebound the Magic by 18. New Orleans’ 16-4 advantage on the offensive glass paced the Pelicans to 14-2 win in second-chance points over the Magic (12-33).
“I think that was the total picture tonight,” Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Three areas hurt us – we turned the ball over, let them get to the free-throw line and (allowed) offensive rebounds.”
Maybe, for New Orleans, a young team is beginning to learn, taking its performance against Detroit and carrying it over to Sunday night.
“I’m sure the guys who haven’t been playing well in these games are starting to get more confidence,” Williams said. “The key is building on it and not go back. But to win the way we did in Detroit, I’m sure the guys feel like that was a confidence booster.”