The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back in a big way on Tuesday night, winning Game 2 against the Phoenix Suns and tying up the series at a game apiece.
Anthony Davis was the storyline heading into the night as there was a lot of chatter and criticism about his Game 1 performance. Davis responded with a huge night against the Suns, recording 34 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and a steal in 40 minutes.
The 28-year-old was Los Angeles’ anchor and upped his play in the fourth quarter when Phoenix was able to climb back and take a lead. Davis detailed how he and the team were able to get the job done. “We’re a veteran team. We had some mistakes down the end, but we stayed poised, we stayed comfortable. We’ve been in that position before. We didn’t overreact,” Davis said.
“The team is playing at home with the crowd. You got to make shots and we just make sure we execute on the other end and that we got stops when it mattered, so we didn’t stress too much. This team can make shots. They’re the best shooting team in the league. … We just wanted to get stops when it mattered and we were able to do that.”
Davis added that he believes the Lakers will also find their stride as the series goes on.
“We’re getting better each game. We’re getting better. We’re still figuring things out, still figuring out the rotations. Trezz didn’t play tonight, Markieff [Morris] did. So we’re still playing with lineups.
“This is how it’s going to be and the good thing about it is we can do that. We can do that because we have a lot of guys that can play in these type of situations, who have played in these type of situations and stay ready. It’s a good problem to have, but we’re continuously getting better and learning each other the more and more we step on the floor together.”
Los Angeles is currently at its most vulnerable given players are still acclimating and working themselves back, including LeBron James, who is not at 100% due to his right ankle injury. However, their showing against the Suns should inspire some confidence going forward as they displayed why they were the NBA’s No. 1 ranked defense during the 2020-21 season.
At this point, it is also clear that the Lakers will go as far as Davis can take them. He was the best player in Game 2 and sent a reminder to the rest of the league what he can do when he is locked in.
Game 3 will likely be another battle, but if Davis can build off this strong performance then the Purple and Gold will be in good shape.
Davis didn’t put extra pressure on himself after rough Game 1 performace
Davis is an even-keeled player who does not get too high or too low, so it was no surprise that he did not feel any extra pressure heading into Game 2, even after one of his worst games as a Laker in Game 1.
“I don’t put too much pressure on myself,” he said. “I go out there and just play basketball. Played with a lot more energy and effort tonight. Just played aggressive. I think that was the difference from Game 1.
“Just watching some film. Watching some film from the Finals when I played against Jae [Crowder] and just learning from those situations and seeing what I can do to be effective on the floor to help my team. But that was it. Just getting in the mode of this is a must-win. I think we all came out with that mindset and we was able to get the job done.”
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