NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis isnt saying if he feels snubbed by being left off the All-Star roster. Hes making his statement on the court. Davis continued his torrid play by scoring 24 points and grabbing eight rebounds to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to an 88-79 victory over Chicago on Saturday night. He also blocked six shots, bringing his total to 21 in his past three games. For the third consecutive game he scored at least 22 points and blocked six shots. The Pelicans said he is the first player to do that since November 1990, when Patrick Ewing did it in four consecutive games for the New York Knicks. "Im not trying to prove anything," said Davis, who set a franchise record with at least four blocked shots in six consecutive games. "Everybody knows what I can do and what Im capable of. Stuff happens and I cant control that." Davis punctuated his performance with a monster jam early in the third quarter, an effort worthy of the Slam Dunk Contest that will be held as part of All-Star weekend in New Orleans. He played Saturday nursing a finger injury that kept him out of one game. While Davis didnt want to address the All-Star game snub, Pelicans coach Monty Williams wasnt so reluctant. "You want to be recognized as one of the best," Williams said. "When you play as well as he has, he can say what he wants. He wants it. We all know he deserves it." Tyreke Evans added 11 points for the Pelicans, who have won four of their past five. D.J. Augustin led the Bulls with 23 points in his return to his hometown. He was 8 of 17 from the field and handed out seven assists. Taj Gibson added 17 points and Joakim Noah had 14 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago. Noah has 10 or more rebounds in 18 straight games, the longest streak of his career. Carlos Boozer was held to four points, tying his lowest point total of the year. He had scored in double figures in his past 12 games. "I think (family and friends in attendance) will be happy for me, but Im not happy that we didnt get the win," said Augustin, who attended a local high school until Hurricane Katrina forced him to finish his senior year in Texas. "Im just going to be happy to see them and give them a hug and a kiss." Davis dominance effectively shut down the middle for the cold-shooting Bulls, forcing them to rely on their outside offensive and creating fast-break opportunities for the Pelicans. Chicago shot 38.6 per cent from the field, making 27 of 70 attempts. The Bulls were 3 of 16 on 3-point attempts and 22 of 33 on free throw attempts. They also committed 17 turnovers. "We were coming from behind most of the time," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We got away from the basket in the missed free throws and we just turned the ball over. " The Pelicans dominated in the paint, outscoring the Bulls 50-34. New Orleans led 50-39 at the half and 71-57 after three quarters. The Pelicans led by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter and maintained a double-digit lead until the final minute. The Bulls were held to 18 points in each of the second and third quarters. "We went out there and played really tough," Pelicans centre Jeff Withey said. "Theyre a great team and theyre physical. We matched their physicality. We just made it really hard to score." The Pelicans raced to a 50-39 halftime lead behind Davis nine points and three rebounds. Augustin scored 17 points in the half on 5-of-8 shooting, but as a team Chicago was 12 of 31, including 2 of 7 on 3-pointers. The Pelicans outscored Chicago 10-2 on fast-break points and 26-12 in the paint. The Pelicans took control in the opening minutes of the second quarter, going on a 12-2 run to take a 35-23 lead with 7:20 remaining. At one point Chicago committed three of its seven first-half turnovers on consecutive possessions, which New Orleans turned into seven unanswered points. The Pelicans led by 13 on three occasions. Eric Gordon scored the Pelicans first seven points but failed to score the rest of the half and finished with nine points on 4-of-15 shooting. NOTES: Players wore red-and-white warm-up shirts in honour of Black History Month, which is celebrated during February. ... Davis ended January with 51 blocks, more than three teams had combined. Davis sat out the Pelicans last game with a finger injury. ... The Pelicans blocked 14 shots and have blocked at least 10 shots in three of their past four games. Mark McGwire Jersey
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.com) - Damian Lillard poured in 40 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go along with 11 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-111, in overtime on Tuesday. ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jim Schwartz was hired to turn around the Detroit Lions and he did it for three seasons. He failed to keep the Lions going in the right direction the next two years -- and it cost him his job. The Lions fired Schwartz on Monday, one day after their late-season slide ended with a loss at Minnesota. He had two years and nearly $12 million left on his contract. Schwartz informed the players of the decision during a team meeting. "I feel awful for him," Lions centre Dominic Raiola said. "I feel like we let him down." Team President Tom Lewand said the search has begun for what he thinks is one of the most -- if not the most -- attractive opportunities for a head coach in the NFL. "I can verify that by the number of calls we have already gotten since the announcement was made," Lewand said. "Going through a thorough process is extremely important. That doesnt necessarily it has to be a long process." San Diego Chargers offensive co-ordinator Ken Whisenhunt is among the potential candidates. Whisenhunt led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl during a six-year run as their coach and Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is a former Washington Redskins teammate. The Lions also let offensive co-ordinator Scott Linehan and wide receivers coach Tim Lappano seek other jobs, saying the rest of the staff is under contract, including some assistants for the 2014 season. Detroit flopped to a 7-9 record this year after a 6-3 record start put the franchise in a position to win a division title for the first time since 1993. "That is the reason we are sitting here having this conversation," Lewand said. Schwartz was 29-51 over five seasons, including a 10-6 mark in 2011 that lifted the Lions to their only post-season appearance this century. The former Tennessee Titans defensive co-ordinator was hired in 2009 when Detroit was coming off the NFLs first 0-16 season. "Jim inherited a very tough job," Mayhew acknowledged. Schwartz led the Lions to two wins in his first year, six the next and to double digits in victories two years ago for the first time since 1995 to help them end an 11-year post-season drought. The Lions lost their last eight games last year after a .500 start. They collapsed again this season with four straight losses and six in a seven-game stretch -- blowing fourth-quarter leads in each setback -- after they took control of the NFC North race. Detroit and the 2000 San Diego Chargers are the only NFL teams since 1940 to lose fourth-quarter leads in seven games in a season, according to STATS. "From where we were in 2008 to where we are now its a big differencce," quarterback Matthew Stafford said.dddddddddddd. "We owe a lot of that to him. Hes a really smart guy and helped us get to where we are. Obviously, we didnt win as many games as we needed to or as we should have this year." The Lions took on the personality of their demonstrative and emotionally charged coach and that wasnt always good news for them. When Detroit ran the ball instead of having turnover-prone Stafford throw late in regulation of its 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants in Week 16, the crowd reacted with a loud chorus of boos. Schwartz responded by looking away from the field and screaming something toward the stands. Schwartz negated a video review and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct by angrily throwing a challenge flag last season when Houstons Justin Forsett scored after two Lions tackled him, leading to a defeat during an eight-game, season-ending slide. The previous year, Schwartz had a heated exchange with San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh and had to be separated following their postgame handshake. "The stuff that happened with Harbaugh just was an incident," Detroit guard Rob Sims said. "The stuff with the fans just was an incident. Thats not an everyday occurrence." Schwartz was 12-32 in games in November or later for a .273 winning percentage that was the worst for a coach in five-plus straight seasons with a team since Denvers Lou Saban won one-quarter of those late-season games from 1967-1971, according to STATS. His .363 winning percentage overall with the Lions is the worst by an NFL coach in his first five full seasons since John McKay won fewer than 30 per cent of his games with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1976-1980. The Lions gave Schwartz an extension entering the 2012 season, when he had one year left on his four-deal worth about $11 million. The second contract made him the longest-tenured coach the franchise has had since Wayne Fontes led the Lions from 1988-96. Bobby Ross, Gary Moeller, Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, Dick Jauron -- on an interim basis -- and Rod Marinelli all had a chance to lead a franchise with only one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title before Schwartz got a shot to be a head coach for the first time at any level. The Lions would like to hire someone, who runs a 4-3 defence and has head coaching experience, but theyre not going to overlook assistants who fit the profile theyre looking for. "The goal isnt to hire the biggest name or the most popular candidate and win the next press conference," Lewand said. "Its to win football games in 2014 and to win a championship." ' ' '