From the moment Game 4 got started it was obvious that Anthony Davis was dialed in on another level.
Davis scored the Los Angeles Lakers’ first 10 points of the game and hit his first seven shots overall on his way to a 34 points in a 114-108 victory that gave them a 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
With the contest coming down to a tense fourth quarter, Davis looked to be willing and able to put the Lakers on his back. But midway through the quarter he rolled his left ankle after landing awkwardly on a jump shot.
Davis immediately crumpled to the ground clutching at his ankle. But it’s the playoffs and Davis was not going anywhere as he walked it off during an ensuing timeout before knocking down a pair of free throws and stayed in the game for the rest of the night.
Davis still seemed to be laboring for the rest of the contest, but his words after the game should allow for a breath of relief. “Ankle feels fine. Got tonight, tomorrow, before the game to get it back to, I don’t want to say back to where it was, but good enough to play,” he said.
“Rolled it pretty bad but not too bad. I’ll be fine.”
Sprained ankles are always difficult to judge as often times it comes down to pain tolerance. The fact that Davis was able to stay in the game without missing a second was huge towards the Lakers coming away with the win, but once adrenaline wears off things can change.
Davis already began the mental battle with how he handled rolling his ankle by tying his shoe and not ever sitting down. “Mostly I was just trying to just stay locked into the game. I knew I wasn’t going to come out,” he said.
“And physically, I didn’t want to sit down because I didn’t want to give it a chance to swell up or anything like that. So, I wanted to just keep moving and trick my body to think that I’m still playing and keep that adrenaline and blood flowing.
“I didn’t want to sit down with it. Keep moving. Stretched my ankle doing some resistance band stuff. You know, not stop moving and letting the ankle swell up. It helped. But I know it’s going to be a little sore and tender tomorrow, like any other time you tweak something. Like I said, get some treatment around the clock and be ready for Game 5.”
LeBron James shares most important message
Davis’ Game 4 effort was the latest in yet another dominant performance in the biggest playoff run of his career. Despite how great Davis has been this season, landing an All-NBA First Team selection, there were continually questions as to whether he could deliver on the game’s biggest stage.
One thing Davis has at his disposal is an all-time great player as a teammate who has experienced everything there is to experience at this level. And LeBron James has been sure to share important advice with his teammate.
“I think just staying even-keeled, that’s what it’s all about,” James explained. “The playoffs and the postseason, the more you advance into the postseason, the emotions and the adversity, it’s going to be a roller coaster at times.
“No matter if you’re up, no matter if you’re down, being able to keep your composure and your mindset on the main thing is very important. This is the furthest he’s gone in his career up to this point. I’m just happy to be here with him to give him any advice and lean on me.”
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