TORONTO — Ed Davis made sure the Los Angeles Clippers took notice this time around.
The Toronto Raptors rookie had 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in a 98-93 victory over Los Angeles.
Davis, the Raptors’ first-round pick in the NBA draft, said he wanted to put on a show against the Clippers and their highlight-reel rookie Blake Griffin.
“It’s a challenge you know,” said Davis. “One, this is one of the teams that passed on me in the draft and then going against Blake. I take it personal.”
Davis played 36 minutes, shooting six for eight and blocking three shots. In contrast, Griffin scored 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the floor and had 15 rebounds.
“Everything,” Raptors point guard Jose Calderon said when asked what impressed him about Davis. “His rebounds, he was in the post, he played really good defence against Blake. It was a great game for him, he helped us win tonight.”
Davis played well enough to make an impression on Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro.
“I thought he played well,” Del Negro said. “I saw some film of him and I thought that he did a nice job against Portland. He was active … kind of flashed us a couple of times and hurt us a little bit. He’s a young kid, getting his feet wet a little bit. He was a factor tonight that’s for sure.”
Davis may have felt he had something to prove after he failed to earn a spot in the rookie-sophomore all-star game next weekend.
Raptors teammate DeMar DeRozan, who will play as a sophomore, said he wished Davis was accompanying him to the game. When Davis wasn’t selected to the rookie roster, DeRozan said he told Davis: “Just prove everybody wrong and show why you should have been there.”
Davis was a big factor when Amir Johnson got into foul trouble early.
“He stayed poised, he didn’t get rattled or anything, he was out there playing like he wasn’t a rookie, like he had played a player like that before, and that’s big for him,” said DeRozan.