NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis backpedaled from the 3-point line, his arm staying up in the follow-through position as his shot went down to push New Orleans’ lead to eight points with a minute-and-a-half to go.
A mere 12 seconds later, his arm was extended again — this time to swat away Thaddeus Young’s running floater as the Pelicans emphatically closed out a 102-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.
“My teammates were just telling me to end the game,” Davis said. “Of course, they lean on me to try to close out down the stretch. I was just trying to be aggressive.”
Davis was having a pretty good night even before his late flourish, finishing with 35 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots. He highlighted his latest dynamic performance with two 3-pointers and a couple of driving dunks. During a pivotal 15-0 Pelicans run inside the final 5 minutes, he converted a three-point play on a driving dunk, hit a 3, added four free throws and blocked two shots.
Davis “got loose in a couple transitions. He made a 3. They’re moving him around,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “He hurt us really in transition and just attacking the basket.”