Preview: New Orleans At Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
Anthony Davis has taken the momentum from a strong All-Star game and turned it into a pair of sterling performances, including the best game in the NBA this season. Davis will try to follow up a 59-point, 20-rebound performance when the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
Davis, who went 12-of-13 from the floor as the Western Conference cruised to a win in the All-Star Game on Feb. 14, scored 34 points in a win over Philadelphia in the Pelicans’ first game back and put up an NBA season-high 59 on 24-of-34 shooting against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. “I wasn’t keeping track, but the bench definitely was telling me during timeouts,” Davis told reporters. “They said, ‘You might as well get 60’ and things like that. I just tried not to worry about it. I was just worried about winning the game.” The Wizards, like New Orleans, are trying to make a run at a playoff spot in their respective conference as the season enters the stretch drive but ran out of gas while playing three nights in a row and suffered a 114-94 loss at Miami on Saturday. The schedule crunch was the result of a makeup game against Utah that was squeezed into Thursday, and Washington knocked off the Jazz and the Detroit Pistons on back-to-back nights before going down in Miami.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN New Orleans, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)
ABOUT THE PELICANS (22-33): Davis, 22, is the youngest player ever to post at least 59 points in a game and joined Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in the last 50 years to collect at least 55 points and 20 rebounds in a game. “After a while, you feel like any shot you put up is going in,” Davis told reporters after the 111-106 win. “I guess it felt like that tonight.” Davis’ big night, which included franchise records for field goals made and attempted, helped give New Orleans its fourth win in five games as it attempts an unlikely run at a playoff spot in the West.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (25-29): Washington will need to tighten some things up defensively in preparation for Davis after letting a different opposing big man, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, go off for 25 points and 23 rebounds in Saturday’s loss. “The reality is it was the third game of three in a row,” Wizards guard Garrett Temple told the Washington Post. “We saw what we’re capable of. Now we’re going back home to get some rest. I don’t see it being a problem for us to get back to the team that we were the last two games.” All-Star point guard John Wall looked like the schedule was catching up to him as he struggled to 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting and four assists in the setback.
1. Wizards F Markieff Morris is 4-of-15 from the field in two games since being acquired from the Phoenix Suns.
2. Pelicans PG Jrue Holiday is averaging 22 points and 10.5 assists off the bench in the last two games.
3. Davis put up 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 107-105 home win over Washington on Dec. 11.
PREDICTION: Pelicans 102, Wizards 101