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Anthony Davis sets personal best with 22 rebounds

NEW ORLEANS -- Two nights ago, after a loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Alvin Gentry pointed to his New Orleans Pelicans' league-worst rebounding as the prime suspect.

"We're giving up too many offensive rebounds," Gentry said after giving up 49, including 13 on the offensive glass, to the Thunder's big, physical front line. "We're giving up too many timely offensive rebounds."

Anthony Davis apparently heard him loud and clear.

Logging more minutes than usual at center in small-ball looks with Terrence Jones out sick, Davis said he made attacking the boards an even bigger priority. The result: 22 rebounds, a career high, and the most he has had since pulling down 21 against Boston in his second season.

"I know it's tough on Dante [Cunningham] and Solo [Hill] and all of those guys, when they're playing out of position, to go get rebounds while guarding probably bigger guys," Davis said after a 91-87 win over the Miami Heat. "I just tried to go out and get every rebound. I know that's going to help us on the other end."

Davis had a season-high seven offensive rebounds as part of a monster night that also included 28 points, four blocks and two 3-pointers. It marks the first time any player has had 28, 22 and four in an NBA game since Shaquille O'Neal did it in 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"I thought he had about six or seven rebounds where he just went and got them," Gentry said. "They were big-time rebounds."

All with Hassan Whiteside, the league's leading rebounder, patrolling the floor for 36 minutes.

"He's very physical, he's very tough. He's a handful down there," said Davis, who's averaging a career-high 11.2 rebounds on the season. "He's a load trying to box him out and trying to get the rebound as well.

"A lot of times, I just tried to push him out early, when he was away from the basket, then go and try to get the rebound."

The Pelicans, who preach positions 1 through 3 getting back on defense rather than attacking the offensive boards, rank last in the NBA in opponents' rebounding, giving up 48.6 per game, and third to last in rebounding percentage, at 47.7. Omer Asik, the team leader in rebounding percentage (17.7), was a healthy scratch against the Heat.

There were plenty of rebounds to go around as both teams shot under 42 percent from the floor. Miami pulled down 59 as a team -- two shy of the Pelicans’ single-game high allowed -- to New Orleans’ 52. But Davis had eight in nine fourth-quarter minutes to help hold onto a much-needed win.

"Man, that's what Anthony does," Jrue Holiday said about Davis' big rebounding night. "I feel like half the time I look up and AD has 30 and 15 and 6 assists. He makes it look easy."