Anthony Davis continues to elevate his game this season, but now he has a buzzer-beating, game-winning three-pointer to add to his All-Star credentials after helping the New Orleans Pelicans defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 116-113, on Friday night.
Davis, who is averaging 24.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and an NBA-leading 2.8 blocked shots a game, came into the league as the No. 1 draft choice in 2012 out of Kentucky, and the 6-foot-10 power forward has lived up to expectations each of his three seasons.
The two-time All-Star, who will turn 22 on March 11, is already considered one of the best players in the NBA, many thinking the two-way standout is in the top 10, possibly the top five.
On Friday night he added another must-see moment to his catalogue when he took an inbounds pass three feet beyond the three-point arc and let fly a double-clutch jumper under pressure from Thunder forward Kevin Durant to sink the winning shot. He had missed his previous eight three-point shots this season.
"If you don't want to be great, step aside and let somebody else be great," Davis told reporters after the game. "Everybody just wanted to be great tonight. I know I had to be great. I want to be great, so you have to be able to accept the challenges."
Davis finished with 41 points and his last-second shot overshadowed Russell Westbrook scoring a career-high 48 points, dishing 11 assists and grabbing nine rebounds to lead the Thunder, who also received 27 points from Durant, the reigning NBA most valuable player who had missed four of the last five games with an injured toe. Westbrook was fouled on a three-point shot with 1.2 seconds left and the Thunder trailing by three points. He made all three free throws to finish 15 of 15 from the line and set up Davis' heroics.
"Obviously, you don't get a lot of time to celebrate in the NBA," Pelicans Coach Monty Williams said, adding, "We've got to play tomorrow, but I'm sure he feels, and has felt, that he's not just one of the better players in the league, he might be the best when it comes to being a young guy who's not afraid of the moment."