Anthony Davis likes sticking it to his ex.
Davis had 46 points and the Los Angeles Lakers dispatched of the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-113, on Friday night at Staples Center.
Davis was drafted by New Orleans with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, and spent the first six seasons of his career with the Pelicans before famously demanding a trade a year ago.
Davis was not traded before the deadline last season, and remained in an unhappy union with New Orleans until he finally got his wish, and was traded to Los Angeles in the offseason.
"Yeah. We're familiar with him," joked Pelicans' head coach Alvin Gentry. "He's a tough matchup."
In Davis' first game back in New Orleans on Nov. 27, the big man scored 41 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 114-110 come from behind victory for the Lakers.
On Friday, he bested himself, finishing with 46 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.
"I knew the situation and my teammates wanted me to play well against my former team the first time," Davis said of the difference between the two 40-point performances. "Tonight there was just more flow in the offense and the ball just happened to come to me in positions where I was able to score."
LeBron James had a game-high 15 assists to go with 17 points and eight rebounds.
"You can throw it to AD [Anthony Davis] anywhere," said James who dished out eight assists to Davis alone. "For me, I just try to put it there where he can just dunk it, and he did that."
Danny Green chipped in 25 points and hit six-three pointers in the contest.
"My teammates were just attacking and finding me in the corner," said Green of his performance. "I got some good looks, wide-open, rhythm looks, and after you see one or two go in, I was able to let the next ones fly confidently."
The Lakers led by as many as 24 points in the second half, but the Pelicans cut the lead to seven with just over two minutes remaining.
Green buried a corner three to put the Lakers back up by double-digits, and they cruised to victory from there.
"Obviously I knew it was a closer game than it was earlier," said Green of the dagger three. "Every possession matters, and you want to close it out. I wasn't really thinking about hunting a shot or stopping the bleeding, I was just thinking, 'let's get a score here.'"
Former Laker, Lonzo Ball, scored 23 points in his first game against his former team, and Brandon Ingram had 22.
"I enjoyed my time here," said Ball of Los Angeles. "This is my home town. I loved playing in front of them. Unfortunately, I was hurt both years, but I wish them [the Lakers] the best moving forward."
The Lakers welcomed back former players Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart in their first game at Staples Center since they were traded to New Orleans for Anthony Davis over the summer.
The organization played a tribute video for the trio on the videoboard during the first timeout of the game:
LaVar Ball, the mercurial father of Lonzo Ball, also made his return to Staples Center where he sat courtside next to Rich Paul, the agent and childhood friend of superstar LeBron James.
Pelicans' No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion Williamson, still has yet to make his NBA Debut, which is expected to come at some point in January.
Pelicans: New Orleans travels to Sacramento on Saturday for the second night of a back-to-back against the Kings.
Lakers: Los Angeles will host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night at Staples Center.