Anthony Davis finally notched his first NBA playoff win Saturday night as the Pelicans upset the 'Blazers 97-95 in Portland.
The 25-year-old put in a dominant performance, posting 35 points on 53.8% shooting to lead New Orleans to it's first playoff win since 2011. Davis also added 14 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocks in an eye catching display, and it's safe to say he was delighted to get the first postseason W of his career.
"It means a lot to get that monkey off your back and get your first win," Davis said per ESPN. "Now that's over with, and we want to come in Tuesday and get another one. That's our mindset. But feels good to get that first win."
Davis and Rajon Rondo, who had 17 assists on the night, combined time after time for points in the paint as the 'Blazers struggled to contain the pair. 'The Brow's' 11 fourth quarter points and Jrue Holiday's clutch block on Pat Connaughton with the score at 95-92 and 8 seconds left on the clock eventually secured the win.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry noted after the game that his superstar center will put everything he has into securing a series win for his team.
"I think it's very important to him that we found a way to win, not just the game, but he wants to win the series." Gentry said. "He said he's going to do everything he possibly can to help us do that."
The former number one overall pick's stellar showing made history with his fifth consecutive 25 point game to begin his playoff career. Davis joins Earl Monroe and Wilt Chamberlain (both five), LeBron James (6), and Kareem Abdul Jabbar (14) as the only players in league history to achieve the feat.
Game two, on Tuesday, will present a chance for Davis to join James in second on the all-time list. A second road win in the series would also give the Pelicans an outstanding chance of advancing to the conference semi-finals.
If they manage to get past the 'Blazers, it would be their first playoff series win since 2008 when they beat the Dallas Mavericks 4-1 on the back of strong play from Chris Paul, David West and Tyson Chandler.
As for Portland, the loss will serve as a reminder that the regular season means nothing, and they'll be looking to bounce back strongly come Tuesday.
Damian Lillard's 26.1 field goal percentage was a rare off night for the All Star guard, and he admitted that his team will be facing a fair amount pressure to win game two.
"I think it puts some pressure on us. You come in with home court, the first two games are on your floor, and you lose. And now they're saying in their locker room, 'We got one, why not get another.'" Lillard said.
The series is set up to be a long, enthralling one, but if Davis keeps hooping out the 'Blazers backcourt duo of Lillard and CJ McCollum will have to be at their shooting best to top the suddenly dangerous-looking Pelicans.News Now - Sport News