Anthony Davis 'Got Chills' Learning His Name Next To Kobe Bryant’s For 20 20-Point First Halves In Season
Jill Painter Lopez
Anthony Davis “got chills” when he learned he’d done something that put his name next to Kobe Bryant’s in Lakers history.
Davis had 42 points in the Lakers' 116-108 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday in which they clinched the top seed in the Western Conference for the first time since 2010.
Davis had 24 points in the first half, becoming the first Lakers player since Bryant to have 20 games in which he scored 20 or more first-half points. That hadn’t been done since Bryant last did it in 2013.
“It means a lot to be in a category with him. I just got chills,” Davis said in an on-court postgame interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “It’s tough just talking about him, but to be in a category with him means a lot. I know he’s looking down on us and cheering us on. We want to do it for him. It’s an honor to even be mentioned with his name.”
Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people on January 26.
The Lakers (51-15) haven’t won an NBA title since Bryant led the Lakers to a championship in 2010.
After the game, #ForKobe was trending on Twitter in Los Angeles.
Davis was aggressive from the start Monday, making eight of his 17 field goal attempts in the first half, 10 more shots than he took in Saturday's loss to Toronto in which he had 14 points on two-for-seven shooting.
He impacted the game on both ends of the court, playing excellent defense while powering his way down the middle to make dunks and putback layups in his fourth games this season in which he scored 40 or more points. He also had four three-pointers, 12 rebounds and three steals.
LeBron James said playing alongside Davis has been an honor.
“It’s everything I dreamed of,” James told Spectrum SportsNet. “I understand and I know the talent level he possesses on the floor, both on the interior and out the perimeter. He’s one of those unicorn-type players that can do it all. He showed you late in the game with that four-point play, his ball-handling ability and his three-point shooting ability off the dribble. There’s not many guys in this league that can do that at that size. He’s definitely a special guy.”