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Anthony Davis scores 24 in return

LOS ANGELES -- New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis returned to action Wednesday night in the Pelicans' 108-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Davis, who'd missed seven games after starting the Pelicans' first 16, came off the bench at the 6:13 mark of the first quarter and turned in an efficient outing. In 32 minutes, he scored 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the field, grabbed 12 rebounds, recorded three steals and turned the ball over only twice.

"It felt good to be back on the floor," Davis said. "Just to go back there and play with my teammates, have fun, do what I'm used to doing, except that we got that loss."

Davis fractured the fifth metacarpal in his left hand when he hit his hand on the rim during an alley-oop attempt in the first quarter of the Pelicans' victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1.

The Pelicans initially announced Davis would be sidelined for four to six weeks, but doctors removed his cast Friday, less than two weeks following the injury. He wore a stretch adhesive bandage over a splint on his left hand in his return Wednesday night. He has not practiced with the team since the injury.

Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans also made his first appearance on the team's five-game Western trip. He had 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss, after missing the first two games after aggravating a sprain in his right ankle.

"Those guys were more than willing to play their normal minutes," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "It was good to see [Davis] have a double-double. I think Tyreke had a triple-double. Unfortunately, we don't have a win. [Davis] was active. They both were a bit rusty in the first half, I thought. But in the third quarter and the rest of the game, they looked like themselves.

"We just have to learn how to play with each other again. We haven't had that lineup on the floor with Jrue [Holiday], Eric [Gordon], Tyreke, [Davis] and Ryan [Anderson] enough where they can start to figure each other out."

On a night when the Pelicans fell by 13 points, the aforementioned five-man unit for New Orleans played the Clippers nearly even. It was outscored 41-40 in nearly 18 minutes of action.

On the season, Davis is averaging 18.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in 33.6 minutes per game. His player efficiency rating of 28.08 ranks fourth in the NBA.