Philadelphia was hoping to avoid their sixth straight loss Monday evening with a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. The only thing standing in their way was 6' 10", 240 lbs. of Anthony Davis. You can imagine how that went.
The first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft made his impact felt early and often against the Sixers. He had 13 points in the first quarter alone, and showed off his offensive prowess in a multitude of ways: driving layups, mid-range jumpers, and one absurd alley oop. Philadelphia found themselves down 11 after the first quarter, and were never able to close the gap despite the valiant efforts of Jerami Grant.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Grant blocked a shot from Ryan Anderson, grabbed the ball and then led the break, finding K.J. McDaniels open in the corner for a three. Thirty seconds later, he caught a pass at the top of the key and knocked down a three over the long arms of Alexis Ajinca. Neither aspect of that sequence looked weird or out of place; those plays looked like something Jerami Grant could contribute consistently. I was pretty hard on the pick after this past year's draft, but I'm more than happy to admit I am totally wrong on him. His shooting stroke looks pretty beautiful for a guy who did not make a single three in his last season at Syracuse. He also looks like Anthony Davis-lite on his drives to the basket, and while he may not be scoring consistently on those, Grant is able to get to the line. Sam Hinkie may have hit a home run with his selection.
With the help of Grant and seven points from Luc Mbah a Moute, the Sixers were down 52-43 at halftime.
Apparently a nine point differential was too close for Davis, who decided to put the game totally out of reach with an absurd third quarter. He put together another 13 points, doing many of the same things he did in the first quarter. If he didn't score, it was probably because the Sixers fouled him.
Philadelphia found themselves down 17 after the third quarter, and after that the wheels fell off entirely for the team's offense. They were scoreless for over three minutes, the highlight of that period being a block from old man John Salmons on Robert Covington.
The Sixers would go on to lose 99-74, large in part to Anthony Davis. He finished the evening with 32 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 4 blocks. That's how you stuff a stat sheet. K.J. McDaniels led the way for the Sixers with 16 points on 5-8 shooting, and Henry Sims and Mbah a Moute chipped in 14. Jerami Grant finished with 10 \points on 4-8 shooting, along with 4 blocks.
The rim protection of Asik and Davis (nice law firm name) was too much for Nerlens Noel, who finished with just 2 points on 1-9 shooting. Robert Covington was also just 2-11 from the field, and was 0-4 from beyond the arc.
Philadelphia is back in action Wednesday night as they take on the Detroit Pistons from the Wells Fargo Center.