New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis had his second career 50-point game on Wednesday night, as his team fell 107-102 at home in their season opener against the Denver Nuggets. Davis’ 50-point effort in the first game of the season makes him just the second player in NBA history to do so along with Michael Jordan.
It was an immense night for Davis, who suffered an ankle injury during the preseason and was initially concerned about missing the team’s season opener. But he played and finished with 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks. He became the first player since steals became an official stat in 1973-74 to record at least 45 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and five steals in any game during the regular season.
Despite all this, the Pelicans actually lost the game, with only two other players finishing in double figures. The leading scorer for the Denver Nuggets was center Jusuf Nurkic who finished 23 points.
As the stats roll in about Davis’ historic opening night performance (third-most steals in a 50-point game ever, as well as fourth-most steals on opening night in NBA history), the fact that they still managed to lose the game will be the over-arching concern for the Pelicans, who are attempting to construct a roster around Davis. The three-time All-Star has battled a multitude of injuries since joining the league in 2012 as the No. 1 draft choice out of the University of Kentucky, and he has since received a max contract from New Orleans.
Of course, it must be noted that the Pelicans are currently without key contributors Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter, so Davis has to shoulder a big load.