NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis is off to the best start of his young career, but the New Orleans Pelicans superstar acknowledged mounting frustrations after a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks dropped his team to 0-4 overall and 0-3 at home this season.
"Definitely frustrating," Davis said after Tuesday's 117-113 defeat. "We can't get a win. It's frustrating."
Davis finished with 35 points and 15 rebounds in the loss, pushing his season averages to 37 points and 13 rebounds per game, both career highs.
The 23-year-old's 148 total points are the most in NBA history through the first four games of the season by a player whose team lost all of those games, according to ESPN Stats and Information research.
"I'm frustrated, but I've got to find a solution," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "I can't be frustrated to the point of where I throw up my hands and not anything's going on. It's my job. That's why they hired me here. I've got to find a solution to our problems. I've got to find a solution to why we're turning the ball over. I've got to find a solution as to why we can't go into the game with a defensive plan and stick to it. It's very frustrating, yeah. But there have got to be solutions."
Despite high expectations heading into last season, an injury-riddled Pelicans team lost its first six games and 11 of its first 12 before ultimately finishing a disappointing 12th in the Western Conference at 30-52. Davis missed a career-high 21 games, including the final 14 of the campaign to undergo an ultrasonic debridement of his left knee.
"I'm not worried about last year," Davis said. "I'm focused on this year, trying to get a win. But it's frustrating. Whatever we need to do, we need to do it fast."
Despite Davis' strong play, the Pelicans entered Tuesday's game ranked second to last in the NBA in offensive efficiency and last in 3-point shooting. New Orleans shot a season-high 34.6 percent from the 3 line against the Bucks, but its 14th-ranked defense allowed 58 points in the paint and a backbreaking 3-pointer to Giannis Antetokounmpo to extend its deficit to five points with 1:34 left to play.
"We played hard, but we got to start playing a lot smarter," Gentry said. "We just have too many defensive breakdowns. We're not talking, so we're not switching where we're supposed to [and we're] leaving open 3-point shooters. We're not talking on back screens, so we end up giving up a layup. These are all things that are very correctable and things that we go over every day that we just got to get better at. There's no excuse for not talking defensively."
The Pelicans, who are without starters Jrue Holiday (personal), Tyreke Evans (right knee) and Quincy Pondexter (left knee) to start the season, are one of five NBA teams still without a win and one of two teams with four losses.
"As far as our team goes, our margin of error is slim," said Pelicans point guard Tim Frazier. "We got one guy that can go out there and get a bucket, get 50 points. But other than that, us other guys just need to step up."