Los Angeles ranks third in points in the paint per game (50.5) while New Orleans ranks 26th in points allowed in the paint per game (47.4).
The good news is that while Davis is never more than a dive or rolled ankle from being out of the game, is that AD always seems to get hurt while putting in max effort.
"I've been impressed with how he's bought into what we're trying to do from a basketball standpoint, from a performance standpoint", Atkinson said.
The Pelicans, who visited Sacramento late Wednesday night, now settle back into their familiar surroundings, playing eight of their next nine games in the Smoothie King Center, starting at 7 p.m. Friday against the Washington Wizards.
Anthony Davis left Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers after suffering a rib injury in the first half, but he later returned after X-rays were negative. "It was sore. I just wanted to make sure everything was fine". He had 12 points and 19 boards the last time he faced the Pelicans in January.
Tobias Harris and Lou Williams scored 27 points apiece for the Clippers, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Davis took over from there, making a layup and then one fadeaway and then another to make it 115-113 with 31 seconds left. Sacramento (20-44) has won two of its past three at home but has been mostly piling up losses while giving heavy minutes to youngsters.
The Pelicans led by 15 at halftime and expanded the lead to 20 when Rondo drained a 3-pointer to make it 81-61 with 7:49 left in the third quarter.
Clippers: In his 13th season, Williams is averaging career highs in points (23.2), assists (5.4), 3-point percentage (.369) and free-throw percentage.
"The Nets made shot after shot and they played extremely hard", Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
But still, the Pelicans aren't considered safely locked into the fourth seed, or even the playoffs, for that matter, with teams three through 10 all separated by just four games total.
Gentry added, "He's playing on an MVP level".
The New Orleans Pelicans (36-26) remain incapable of losing.
The Pelicans shot 52 percent from the floor in racing to a 14-point lead in the first.
"If we had won the game, it would have been a robbery".