Davis solid in debut, falls to Spurs

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 01, 2012
Anthony Davis fit right in. Tim Duncan and the wily San Antonio Spurs were celebrating at the end. Duncan scored 24 points, Tony Parker hit a huge 3-pointer, and the Spurs opened the season with a 99-95 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in Davis' pro debut Wednesday night. The top draft pick did his part. Davis scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds, a promising start for the player who spent only one season at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to the national title and earning player of the year honors, But the Hornets are still rebuilding. The Spurs have their sights on making another run at a title with their aging roster. After Davis made two free throws with 1:08 remaining to give New Orleans its final lead, 95-94, the Spurs closed strong. San Antonio worked the ball with a series of quick passes until Parker broke free by the top of the arc. He connected with 49.6 seconds left, giving him 23 points and putting his team ahead to stay. Greivis Vasquez missed an open 3, slapping his hands in disgust after the ball bounced off the front of the rim. Duncan grabbed the rebound, was quickly fouled and padded the lead with two free throws. Al-Farouq Aminu took one more 3, but it missed badly. The Spurs dribbled out the clock, showing they're not ready to give in yet to a team such as the Hornets. New Orleans is starting over after dealing Chris Paul to the Clippers last year and plummeting to the bottom of the Western Conference. They won the lottery, nabbed Davis with the first pick and also grabbed Duke guard Austin Rivers in the opening round. Rivers, the son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, was in the starting lineup for the first game, but he didn't have nearly the impact of Davis. Bothered during the preseason by an ailing ankle, the guard connected on just 1 of 9 shots and finished with seven points. Duncan schooled Davis right away, scoring a couple of quick baskets against the rookie. But school didn't last long. Davis knocked down an 18-foot jumper from the baseline. Then he swished a 16-footer. By the end of his first quarter in the NBA, the kid had nine points and four rebounds, leading the Hornets to a 31-28 lead. New Orleans stretched its advantage to 50-43 at halftime. Davis went to the break with 13 points, having knocked down five of eight shots. San Antonio dominated in the early part of the third quarter, turning the deficit into a seven-point lead. But New Orleans didn't fold, pulling back to a 71-all tie heading to the final period. It was tight the rest of the way. The crowd of 15,358 was about 2,500 short of a sellout at New Orleans Arena, showing the Davis era has yet to totally capture the city's imagination. Give him time. The Spurs don't have a lot of time with their 30-something core - Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili - but they had the best record in the West a year ago. San Antonio was knocked off in the conference finals by youthful Oklahoma City and found itself a man down in the opener. Ginobili wasn't able to play because of back spasms. Notes: Ginobili missed four of eight games in the preseason because of his ailing back. ... The Hornets also were short-handed. G Eric Gordon remains out indefinitely after missing all of training camp with a sore left knee. ... Aminu finished with 17 points and had a couple of highlight-reel dunks.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: People with Warriors think they will get Durant

Joe Thomas: It’s a ‘sad end’ to Manziel story in Cleveland

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Eight surprises, letdowns entering NBA All-Star break

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker