Since he was essentially anointed the next face of the NBA over the past year, Anthony Davis' season has been a little disappointing on a number of levels. His per-game numbers are as good as ever -- 24.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.2 blocks -- but after last year's surprise playoff run, the Pelicans have underperformed due to injuries throughout the roster and an awkward coaching transition from Monty Williams to Alvin Gentry. In the eyes of the casual NBA observer, the next shiny toy to get excited about has already become Timberwolves rookie phenom Karl-Anthony Towns.
On Sunday, though, Davis reminded everyone that he's still here. He had not only the best game of his career, with 59 points and 20 rebounds in a 111-106 win over the Pistons, but he entered historic company, joining Shaquille O'Neal as the only player with at least 55 points and 20 rebounds in a game in the last 40 years. The 59 points were also the most scored in a game in Pelicans franchise history, going back to their inception as the Charlotte Hornets in 1988.
With that in mind, let's take a trip through the highest-scoring performances of the other 29 franchises.
Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks have the league's only four-way tie for a high-scoring game. Dominique Wilkins dropped 57 twice, both times in 1986, exactly eight months apart. He did it April 10 against the Nets and again Dec. 10 against the Bulls, a game in which Michael Jordan had 41 of his own. Lou Hudson also scored 57 points against the Bulls on Nov. 10, 1969. Going back to the Hawks' days in St. Louis, Bob Pettit scored 57 against Detroit on Feb. 18, 1961.
Boston Celtics: It's a little surprising that only one Celtics player has ever had a 60-point game. It's also surprising that he only did it once. But the player isn't surprising in the slightest: Larry Bird dropped 60 against the Hawks on March 12, 1985, in a battle with 'Nique, who had 36.
Brooklyn Nets: The Deron Williams era was largely a disappointment on all levels for the Nets, but he did set this franchise record during an otherwise terrible lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, their last in New Jersey before the move. He scored 57 points on March 4, and it took all of them to beat a Charlotte Bobcats team with the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
Charlotte Hornets: The original Hornets are now the Pelicans, and Davis shattered that franchise record last night. But earlier this season, Kemba Walker set the mark for the new-look Hornets. Stephen Jackson previously held the mark for the then-Bobcats with 43, but Walker's 52-point game against the Jazz just over a month ago (Jan. 18) gave them their first 50-point game. The Hornets 2.0 haven't had a lot of things to celebrate since their inception, but this game was one of them.
Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan's legendary 69-point performance against the Cavaliers on March 28, 1990, hasn't been topped.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving tied LeBron James' franchise record with a 55-point performance in a win over the Blazers last January, and then topped it six weeks later with a 57-point outburst against the Spurs that was one of the most memorable games of last season, an overtime victory on March 12.
Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki holds this record. He scored 53 in an overtime win over the Rockets on Dec. 2, 2004.
Denver Nuggets: There have only been 10 games of 70 or more points in NBA history, and only four of them came from people not named Wilt Chamberlain. David Thompson had one of them, scoring 73 on April 9, 1978, in a loss to the Pistons. The scoring title for that season, which ended that day, was at stake in this game, and Thompson lost that, too -- George Gervin's 63 points were enough to give him the edge.
Detroit Pistons: Jerry Stackhouse's career year came in 2000-01, and so did his best game, a 57-point performance against the Bulls on April 3.
Golden State Warriors: You might have heard about this one before. They were the Philadelphia Warriors at the time, but Chamberlain's 100 points against the Knicks on March 2, 1962, is the greatest single-game scoring performance in NBA history. It borders on myth, since no tape of the game exists, and no one has truly come close to breaking it. It remains the only untouchable record in the sport.
Houston Rockets: Calvin Murphy scored 57 points for a bad Rockets team on March 18, 1978, in a two-point loss to an even worse Nets team whose leading scorer was John Williamson with 36 points.
Indiana Pacers: Here's how de-emphasized the 3-point line was in the early 1990s: Reggie Miller's career game, a 57-point performance in a Nov. 28, 1992, win over the Hornets, featured only 20 3-point attempts between the two teams. Reggie had 11 of them, including four makes, and he was the only Pacer to hit a three.
Los Angeles Clippers: A three-way tie between Charles Smith and two Bob McAdoo performances. McAdoo's 52-point games came against the Sonics on March 17, 1976, and against the Celtics on Feb. 22, 1974. Smith -- one of the more forgotten players to have a 50-point game -- scored 52 on Dec. 1, 1990, against the Nuggets.
Los Angeles Lakers: In a season focused on remembrances of Kobe Bryant's incredible 20-year career, there's been no shortage of attention paid to his 81-point performance against the Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. It was the greatest scoring outburst of the modern era, and the defining moment of the middle part of his career, between the two championship runs, when he was singlehandedly putting up these numbers with a terrible supporting cast. Stephen Curry is the only active player who seems remotely capable of topping that number.
Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies have only been a franchise for 20 years, and have only been relevant in the larger NBA landscape for the last six. But no individual player has scored more than Mike Miller's 45 points against the Warriors on Feb. 1, 2007. The Grizzlies are the only franchise in the NBA without a 50-point game, which feels appropriate since their recent success was built on Grit N Grind, which isn't exactly conducive to high-scoring individual performances.
Miami Heat: LeBron James' career-high came in his last season with the Heat, a 61-point performance against the Bobcats on March 3, 2014. The Bobcats gave up two franchise-record scoring games that year (more on the second one later) despite having the best season in their short franchise history.
Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Redd is one of the NBA's great recent forgotten what-ifs, a second-round pick who transformed himself into an unstoppable scoring machine in the mid-2000s before knee injuries derailed his career. He scored 57 points for the Bucks against the Jazz on Nov. 11, 2006.
Minnesota Timberwolves: One of the most random names on this list: journeyman point guard Mo Williams, who dropped 52 last season against the Hornets. He passed Kevin Love's previous record of 51, which was tied by another WTF name, Corey Brewer. The Timberwolves, shall we say, don't have a lot to celebrate in their history as a franchise. Good thing their future looks so bright with Andrew Wiggins and Towns.
New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony scored 62 against the Bobcats on Jan. 24, 2014, breaking Bernard King's 30-year-old Knicks record of 60.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Fred Brown scored 58 points in a March 23, 1974, win by the Sonics over the Warriors. The score of that game was 139-137 -- in regulation. Brown narrowly edges out three 54-point performances in more recent Sonics/Thunder history, one by Ray Allen in 2007 and two by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the franchise's Oklahoma City incarnation.
Orlando Magic: Tracy McGrady's peak was short, but few players in the 21st century have had better individual stretches than his first three years with the Magic. His 62 points against the Wizards on March 10, 2004, came after his unreal 2003 campaign and just before his trade to Houston and eventual decline due to injuries.
Philadelphia 76ers: Chamberlain, not surprisingly, is the only player to hold the franchise scoring record for more than one team. He scored 68 against the Bulls on December 16, 1967.
Phoenix Suns: Tom Chambers scored 60 points in a blowout win over the Sonics on March 24, 1990. He was one of only three Suns players to score double digits, and -- in another illustration of how different the game was at the time -- he attempted zero 3-pointers.
Portland Trail Blazers: Damon Stoudamire dropped 54 on the Hornets during the height of the Jail Blazers years, on Jan. 14, 2005. He still narrowly holds the lead over Brandon Roy and Andre Miller (!!!), who each had 52-point games. Damian Lillard scored 51 this past Friday in a win over the Warriors. Don't be surprised if he holds this record by the time his career is over.
Sacramento Kings: You have to go all the way back to the Cincinnati Royals era for Jack Twyman's 59-point game against the Lakers on Jan. 15, 1960. Chris Webber holds the Sacramento-era record with 51.
San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs have been the most successful franchise of the last two decades, but haven't had a singularly dominant scorer since David Robinson's peak. The Admiral had one of the four non-Wilt 70-point games on April 25, 1995, when he scored 71 against the Clippers.
Utah Jazz: Pete Maravich's 68 points against the Knicks on Feb. 25, 1977, came when the Jazz were in New Orleans. Karl Malone holds the Utah-era record with 61 on Jan. 7, 1990, against the Bucks.
Toronto Raptors: Two Raptors have scored 51 points. One of them is Vince Carter (Feb. 7, 2000, against the Suns), which makes sense. The other is Terrence Ross (Jan. 25, 2014, against the Clippers), which … doesn't make as much sense.
Washington Wizards: There's already a generation of young NBA fans who only remember Gilbert Arenas for the 2009 gun incident, one of the worst contracts in NBA history and some ill-advised Instagram posts about WNBA players' bodies. That's a shame, because he used to be one of the most unstoppable scorers and entertaining personalities in the league. His 60-point game came during peak Agent Zero years, during a Dec. 17, 2006, overtime win over the Lakers in a duel with Kobe Bryant, who had 45.