The New Orleans Pelicans would have been happy just seeing Anthony Davis on the court.
The way he played should make them ecstatic.
The star forward returned sooner than expected from a sprained right ankle and had 33 points, 13 rebounds and four assists' in the Pelicans' 114-111 overtime loss in Orlando on Thursday night.
Davis was hurt Oct. 12 during a preseason game against Houston in China and the Pelicans said he was expected back in 10 days to two weeks, a timeline that could have meant missing the regular-season opener next Wednesday.
But Davis made it back in about a week, returning to practice Wednesday and dominating right from the start of Thursday's game. He scored 16 points in 9 minutes of the first quarter as the Pelicans raced to a 38-22 lead. It would grow to 23 later in the game before Orlando rallied, then pulled it out in OT after rookie Buddy Hield missed a chance to win it for New Orleans before the regulation buzzer.
Terrence Jones added 20 points for the Pelicans, who finished 1-4.
Evan Fournier scored 22 points as the Magic avoided a winless preseason. Serge Ibaka added 18.
HAWKS 97, BULLS 81
OMAHA, Neb. — Dwight Howard had 16 points and 15 rebounds in a strong finish to his first preseason with the Hawks.
Kyle Korver, who played at Creighton, also scored 16 points as Atlanta finished 5-2.
Jimmy Butler scored 16 points as Chicago wrapped up exhibition play at 3-4.
HAWKS: Kent Bazemore had 15 points and nine rebounds. ... Korver made four 3-pointers.
BULLS: Doug McDermott, another former Creighton star playing in his college arena, scored 16 points but shot 5 for 15. ... Dwyane Wade (3 for 14) and Rajon Rondo (1 for 7) combined for just 11 points. Both had six assists.
UP NEXT: Atlanta (5-2) hosts Washington next Thursday in its season opener. Chicago (3-4) also opens Thursday against Boston.
HORNETS 96, HEAT 88
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kemba Walker had 17 points and six assists as the Hornets won the matchup of last teams who met in the first round of last season's playoffs.
Frank Kaminsky added 16 points and six rebounds for the Hornets, who close their preseason schedule Friday against Minnesota.
Rodney McGruder scored 16 points as the Heat, who beat the Hornets in seven games last spring, went largely with reserves.
HEAT: Okaro White finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Derrick Williams also scored 13 points. ... Hassan Whiteside shot 1 for 6 and had four points in 15 minutes. ... Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow didn't play.
HORNETS: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 10 points and 14 rebounds. Roy Hibbert added eight points, 11 boards and three blocked shots. ... Nicolas Batum scored 14 points but missed all three 3-point attempts.
UP NEXT: Miami (4-3) finishes up exhibition play Friday at home against Philadelphia. ... Charlotte (3-3) visits Minnesota on Friday.
KNICKS 116, NETS 111
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and the Knicks beat the Nets for the second time this preseason.
Brooklyn played its starters into the final minutes and nearly came back, cutting the Knicks' lead to three before turning it over in the closing seconds.
Jeremy Lin, who sat out the first meeting against his former team, led the Nets with 24 points and 10 assists.
KNICKS: Coach Jeff Hornacek said he expects to meet with Derrick Rose on Friday to show him tape of what he missed while away from the team for his civil rape trial. Rose and two friends were cleared by a jury Wednesday and he is expected to rejoin the Knicks when they practice next on Saturday. ... Courtney Lee scored 15 points and Joakim Noah had 12 after a strong start. ... Justin Holiday, who came from Chicago in the Rose trade, came off the bench for 14 points.
NETS: Joe Harris scored 15 points. ... Brook Lopez, who had a quiet preseason, scored 12 points. Bojan Bogdanovic also had 12, while Justin Hamilton finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
UP NEXT: New York (4-2) visits Cleveland on Tuesday in its regular-season opener. Brooklyn (1-5) is at Boston to open the season on Wednesday.