After a rocky return in the Los Angeles Lakers blowout loss to the Boston Celtics, Anthony Davis has begun to return to form on both ends of the floor.
Davis looked much more like the dominant interior presence fans have grown accustomed to seeing against the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, which unsurprisingly resulted in two convincing wins for the Lakers.
A lot of the talk surrounding the game prior to tipoff was about LeBron James passing Kobe Bryant on the all-time scoring list, but Davis believes that was not the reason for the team’s tight start to the third quarter, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“No. They’re a good team. They’re now 21-2 at home. They really don’t lose at home and we missed a lot of shots early in the third. They pushed the ball. They got a guy who’s 6’10” pushing the ball, finding guys and we had some bad rotations on him and on their shooters and they were able to knock down some threes. So it was on us on the defensive end.
But no matter what the score is, we’re gonna keep fighting. We were able to battle back. I think we cut it to five and then we went cold again. Then had some timely turnovers and they was able to go down and capitalize on them turnovers. We fought but we just gotta find ways to close games and when you’re down that much, everything has to damn near go perfect for you. And we cut it to five and just ran out of ammo at the end.”
James entered the third quarter needing only four points to pass Bryant, but the Lakers offense as a whole struggled to get much going with the 76ers playing airtight defense. Even after he got into the lane for an easy layup, Los Angeles was still unable to find much success against a Philadelphia team who was able to match their size and physicality on the floor.
While Davis and the rest of the roster did an excellent job of getting the game back within striking distance, they were unable to continue their roll and ultimately walked away with the loss. It is these types of games that give fans pause about their legitimacy as championship contenders, but they have an opportunity to ease any similar concerns when they head home to play the Los Angeles Clippers.