"He told me, 'Hey man, you've got to bring this every day,' " Davis said.
Davis helped the Clippers cut a nine-point third quarter deficit to two entering the fourth quarter. He was all over the court, grabbing rebounds, altering shots, roaring at the crowd and even blocking shots.
His play inspired Blake Griffin, who is out after having surgery Feb. 9 to remove a staph infection in his right elbow, to jump off of the bench and crouch on the court cheering in the third quarter in his jeans and a big black brace. The crowd even gave Davis a standing ovation when he was subbed out at the end of the third.
Davis didn't finish with the most points (10) or rebounds (6), but his team said he made all of the difference.
"Without Baby, we don't win tonight," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "Forget the points, it was his defense and his rebounding and his toughness and his energy. He was huge, and I don't mean that [like that]."
Davis said he knows that his role on the team is to bring energy.
"I'm the blue collared guy," he said. "I'm the janitor. I'm sweeping everything up, making sure everybody's all right."
It's not always an easy task, considering he's averaging a career-low in minutes this season (10.3). He acknowledged that one of his biggest challenges is to positively effect the game in the short amount of time that he has on the court.
"That's one of the things that's hard to do," he said. "When you're so revved up and then you don't play five minutes, you still try to bring that energy. It's a battle between yourself."
With Griffin sidelined, Davis played 16 minutes and 31 seconds on Thursday, helping his team with their third game in a row without their superstar power forward.
"He's just so exciting," Paul said. "When he gets the and-one, he makes faces. He pumps the crowd up. He's exactly what his name is -- he's a big baby. He shows his emotions good or bad at all times. He's a big part of our team."
Follow Melissa Rohlin on Twitter @melissarohlin