Few players have ever had the feeling Anthony Davis did Sunday.
The star centre scored a franchise-record 59 points and pulled down 20 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons 111-106.
"That was a lot of fun, because the rim looked so big that it felt like everything I shot was going to go in," Davis said. "I wasn't keeping track of my point total, but the guys were telling me at the timeouts. They wanted me to get 60."
The previous club record was 50 points by Jamal Mashburn exactly 13 years earlier against the Grizzlies. Davis went 24 of 34 from the floor and made his only two 3-pointers. He added nine free throws in 10 attempts.
"We made an effort to get him the ball in space, and Jrue [Holiday] did a great job of that," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "That's a really good team, and Andre Drummond is one of the best centres in this league, so that really shows what A.D. can do when we get him in space."
Davis had 19 points in the fourth quarter and broke the scoring record for the Palace of Auburn Hills set by LeBron James with 48 points in an Eastern Conference finals game on June 1, 2007.
"That one is on me. That was terrible coaching — terrible," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You've got to come up with something. You can't let a guy get 59. That's on me."
Davis joined Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Webber as the only NBA players with 50 points and 20 rebounds in a game since 1983.
"I don't think it will really sink in until tomorrow what I did today," Davis said. "But being in the history books with C-Webb and Shaq? That's something special."
Holiday came off the bench and scored 20 points, the only other player to reach double figures for New Orleans.
Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 34 points.
The short-handed Pistons lost another key player early on when Anthony Tolliver limped off the floor after spraining his knee in a collision with Drummond. Marcus Morris shifted to power forward with Tobias Harris playing small forward in his second game with Detroit.
"It's not like [Davis] was just scoring on one guy out there," Harris said. "He was scoring on everyone we had. That's a team thing, and we have to take it as a team."