The battle of the hometown stars was won easily by Chicago.
Unfortunately for Bulls, Chicago native Anthony Davis plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. Davis made his case as the league's most glaring all-star snub by piling up 24 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks Saturday as the host Pelicans posted an 88-79 victory.
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The Bulls' entry in the hometown hero battle was New Orleans native D.J. Augustin, who was in high school when his family was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Augustin scored 23 points, but his teammates had trouble shooting straight.
"I think they're going to be happy for me, but I'm not happy that we didn't get the win," Augustin said of his friends and family that were on hand. "I'm just going to be happy to see them and give them a hug and a kiss."
Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler combined to hit 5 of 23 shots. The Bulls were 38.6 percent from the field overall and knocked down just 3 of 16 attempts from 3-point range.
"We came out playing great defense," Davis told reporters after the contest. "We made them shoot contested twos. They kept going to the basket, but made sure they wouldn't beat us. We didn't do a good job rebounding, but we did a great job with our half-court defense."
The inside game was a little better. Joakim Noah ran his double-digit rebound streak to 18 by grabbing 16 boards, to go with 14 points. Taj Gibson had a good fourth quarter to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
But the night belonged to Davis, the native of Chicago's South Side, whose massive growth spurt during his high school years helped create a uniquely multiskilled big man.
Besides serving as basket protector, Davis scored most every way possible, including long jumpers, shots on the run and putbacks at the rim. The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2012 leads the league in block shots, while averaging 20.4 points and 10.4 rebounds.
"I'm not trying to prove anything," Davis said. "Everybody knows what I can do and what I'm capable of. I'm just trying to go out there and do what we did tonight, get a win against a great Bulls team. My teammates were doing a great job of getting me the ball where I could score. I'm not trying to prove anything. It is what it is."
The Bulls (23-23) led 21-19 with 1:25 left in the first quarter, then went ice cold. While the Bulls failed to record a field goal for the next 11 minutes, the Pelicans opened a 43-30 lead late in the second quarter.
During the second half, the Bulls either couldn't string together enough baskets to get back into the game or couldn't contain Davis when they needed a defensive stop. The final margin of 9 points was as close as the Bulls would get in the second half.
New Orleans played without point guard Jrue Holiday and forward Ryan Anderson.
The Bulls did not sign veteran guard Mike James to a second 10-day contract. So he's off the team, no doubt waiting for the next point guard injury. Forward Cartier Martin, whose second 10-day contract with the Bulls expired a few days ago, signed with Atlanta on Saturday. Brief Bull Andrew Bynum, obtained and immediately waived in the Luol Deng trade, signed with Indiana.
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