Pelicans' Anthony Davis notches first career triple-double on 25th birthday


Davis, who turned 25 years old on Sunday, suffered an ankle injury during the Pelicans' win over the Sacramento Kings last Wednesday and ended up sitting out of New Orleans' loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday evening.

The Utah rookie scored 18 points in just over five minutes, flipping a deficit to a lead for the Jazz (37-30) at a crucial stretch of the second half, just as it looked as though New Orleans was ready to pull away.

Anthony Davis returned from a one-game absence due to a sprained ankle to play on his 25th birthday and lead New Orleans with 25 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocks. He has averaged 11.3 points and 8.2 assists in 21 career games versus the Jazz, reaching double figures in assists on nine occasions.

After a slow start on the offensive end, Davis inspired his team with his activity on the defensive end, going into the half with three steals and six blocks. He also went 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

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Utah's suffocating defense never allowed New Orleans back in the game and the Jazz lead never fell below seven points in the fourth quarter. Utah finished with a 55-38 rebounding advantage. Only four games separate the No. 3 seed in the West from the 10th.

While the 25-year-old has been a key factor for New Orleans ever since it selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 National Basketball Association draft, his importance has grown since All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season in January with a torn Achilles.

New Orleans scored the first six points of the second quarter, and the score was tied six more times in the period.

The Pelicans return to action Tuesday at 7 they welcome in the Charlotte Hornets.