The Lakers were in desperate need of a win on Wednesday night against the Blazers. LA had lost three consecutive games coming into the contest. After leading by as much as 13 in the first half, the Lakers once again found them in a dog fight against an undermanned opponent. Anthony Davis ended up being the difference maker in crunch time.
His defense, rebounding, and shot-making in crunch time sealed the Lakers win. Davis explained his mental approach coming into Wednesday night’s game.
“ [I’m] trying to lead the team. I think we all kinda felt, after the Atlanta loss - just try to come out with the mindset of ending this streak. We got a couple at home. Play with a force. Play with some urgency.”
Davis almost had a double-double in the fourth quarter alone. The eight-time All-Star recorded 11 points and eight rebounds in the final period. Davis was also aggressive down the stretch. His eight fourth quarter free-throw attempts led the team.
Carmelo Anthony loved what he saw from David in the nail-biting win.
“He imposed his will on the glass tonight. He was in there banging with [Yusuf] Nurkic. That’s not an easy task, but he did it. He controlled the boards. Offensively, he was in attack mode. You can see, he’s in better shape and he’s playing with a different pop right now. Something that we’re going to need.”
It was the type of performance the Lakers needed from Davis with LeBron James sidelined with a knee injury.
In his last three games, Davis is averaging 29.3 points per game on 57.6% shooting. Davis will need to keep playing at an All-NBA level if the Lakers are going to climb back into the playoff picture. Especially with LeBron James out indefinitely.
Davis and the Lakers will have the opportunity to move up to the eight-seed in the West with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.