If Anthony Davis isn't already the best player in the NBA, he's well on his way to getting to that level. Tonight he reminded the Celtics why he belongs in that conversation by pouring in 34 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and swatting 3 blocks. The only thing Davis has yet to do in his first three seasons to put himself at the front of the MVP race is lead his team to a winning record. Dropping a close game in Boston against a Celtics team depleted by recent trades to drop his New Orleans Pelicans back below .500 certainly isn't helping his cause.
Boston hung around all game before breaking out with a 36 point 4th quarter to pull ahead - the most points Boston has scored in the 4th quarter all season.
Coming into the game the key match-up was clearly Jared Sullinger going up against Davis. While "The Brow" put up his typical big numbers, Sullinger countered with a season-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season.
With the revolving door that this Celtics roster has become due to the flurry of trades over the past several weeks, you almost can't even consider Jae Crowder as one of the new guys anymore, but he's quickly establishing himself as the best of Boston's recent additions. Crowder did it all for the Celtics, with a career-high 22 points, while contributing on the defensive end with 4 steals and a pair of blocks.
Trailing by one with under a minute left, New Orleans was desperate for a stop. As the shot clock ticked away, Marcus Smart found himself open in the corner to drill a three-pointer to beat the buzzer and make it a two possession game. New Orleans would fail to score the rest of the way as Sullinger padded the lead at the free throw line to put the game away.
Boston's newest acquisitions from the Jeff Green trade that became official this morning were inactive tonight and it's unclear if they will ever suit up for the Celtics. Tayshaun Prince is a potential buy-out candidate and Austin Rivers is rumored to be moving on to join his dad in Los Angeles. Even if they do stay in Boston, it's unlikely either of them will get significant minutes anytime soon. If that means more minutes for a guy like Crowder, that can only be a positive based on what we saw tonight.