Lakers’ Anthony Davis – LeBron says I’m playing like my old self
LOS ANGELES — In mid-December of last season, then Anthony Davis suffered a left knee injury that would sideline him for more than a month, lebron james he immediately raised his scoring average to try to make up for the big man’s absence. James had seven straight games of 30+ points, and went over 30 in 11 of 12 games overall, to solidify the Los Angeles Lakers.
Davis is doing his best to return the favor this season.
With James out for a fourth straight game Sunday with a strained left groin, Davis scored at least 30 for the third straight time in LA’s 123-92 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
It was the Lakers’ third straight win, improving their record to 5-10, and Davis has been instrumental during the streak. He’s averaging 35 points on 61.7% shooting overall and 91.2% shooting from the foul line along with 17.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks over the last three games
He became the third player in Lakers history to record at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in three straight games, joining Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Shaquille O’Neal.
“Obviously when he’s out, or if I’m out, we take it upon ourselves to fill that void as much as we can,” Davis told ESPN when asked about his ascension in James’ absence.
While the Lakers’ big man intended to take on more of the load to give James more time to recover, he didn’t specifically plan it as recovery from what James did last season.
“We haven’t talked about it, but he said I’m playing like my old self, so I’m trying to get back to that rhythm,” Davis told ESPN of James’ comments.
Davis did most of his damage early against the Spurs, adding 18 points and five rebounds in the first quarter, his most in any quarter this season, as LA built a 14-point lead that would eventually grow the quantity. like 34.
“AD is playing out of his mind,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “He’s in a great rhythm.”
The improved play still has the Lakers just 13th in the Western Conference and 2 1/2 games behind the The Minnesota Timberwolves for the last playoff spot.
Sure, there are plenty of games left to make up ground, but the schedule isn’t about to do LA any favors. The Lakers go on the road to play the No. 2 team in the West, the Phoenix Suns, on Tuesday. It marks the start of a treacherous stretch in which 16 of the Lakers’ next 22 games are on the road between now and Jan. 2.
“I think everybody’s confidence is very high, although it’s not too high,” Davis told reporters afterward. “Going to Phoenix to start the trip will be a good test for us. But like I said, I think the guys’ confidence is high on both ends of the ball going into this game. So, we want to start the trip on the road. with a W. Then San Antonio back. So it feels good to get three in a row. Now we just have to take it on the road and get more wins together.”
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