The Los Angeles Lakers need Anthony Davis to be dominant in order to push ahead in the standings and make the playoffs. But they also need the role players to step up as well, and on Sunday they got both.
Davis led the way with 39 points including some crucial points down the stretch, and five other Lakers scored in double-figures as they came away with a huge 113-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors. Davis added eight rebounds, six assists and two blocks as the Lakers climbed to within a half-game of the Western Conference Play-In Tournament.
Davis got off to a strong start with 15 points in the first quarter and the Lakers led by as many as 20 in the opening quarter. But the Warriors, led by Stephen Curry in his first game back from injury, immediately fought back to make it a game. But Davis ended things right with 12 more points in the fourth helping the Lakers put things away.
Unlike Friday where there was little offensive help for Davis, the Lakers’ role players were huge in this contest. Austin Reaves took on a bigger playmaking role while knocking down timely shots, finishing with 16 points and eight assists while Troy Brown Jr. knocked down four 3-pointers to finish with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Jarred Vanderbilt once again did a little bit of everything with 10 points, 13 rebounds and four assists as he has quickly grown into one of the most beloved members of the team. Dennis Schroder added 11 points and six assists while Malik Beasley poured in 12 points.
The Lakers were able to offset the Warriors’ advantage from deep by dominating in the paint, outscoring them by 14 points inside while also adding 16 points off 12 Golden State turnovers. The Lakers also did an excellent job taking care of the ball themselves with just seven turnovers on their end.
Curry finished with 27 points in his return to the Warriors lineup while Klay Thompson added 22. The “Splash Bros” hit back-to-back threes late in the fourth to cut the Lakers’ lead down to two, but that is when Davis responded by drawing a foul and knocking down a pair of free throws. He followed up with a short floater to get the Lakers back up by six to effectively put the game away.
The Lakers also fell victim to the injury bug once again as backup big man Mo Bamba turned his ankle in the first quarter and did not return.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers continue their five-game homestand when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night where they will also retire the number 16 jersey of Pau Gasol. The Lakers will then host the Toronto Raptors on Friday night and the New York Knicks on Sunday to end the homestand.
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