The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the win column after an ugly stretch of losses to below .500 teams, doing so in dramatic fashion with a close win over the Denver Nuggets. Anthony Davis was the catalyst in the victory, with team-highs in points, rebounds, blocks and minutes played.
While it was going to be difficult to get a win over the MVP frontrunner in Nikola Jokic, the Lakers knew they desperately needed it. Holding the fifth-highest scoring team in the NBA to just 89 points was proof that their activity and energy level were back to where they’ve wanted it to be for a long time.
Davis said he came into the game with the mindset of bringing energy given who was missing from the Lakers lineup. “I was in the mindset of coming in with a little bit more energy and effort like I spoke on last night,” Davis said.
“I knew that probably with Bron out and Dennis out the team would rely on me a lot more. I had to be that one to bring that energy to the group on both ends of the floor and I just made an effort to come out and play with pace.”
Davis certainly was that for L.A. on Monday with 25 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. He called the win a statement game to give them momentum for the remainder of the regular season. “Yeah, it gives us momentum. We lose to two teams we feel we should’ve beaten and then come into tonight and get a win against a big-time team who’s playing well.
“I think they’ve won nine of their last 10, so it was sort of a statement game for us. Sort of a game to get us back in the win column and make us feel good and get us the momentum that we need to finish out the rest of these seven games.”
Things don’t get any easier now for the Lakers, so hopefully their momentum can carry them through the next four games, all of which are against playoff teams.
For Davis, it’s just about continuing to be an emotional leader for the team even when James plays. Him breaking through and becoming that guy during the postseason last year is part of what helped the Lakers win the championship. They’ll need it now even more than they did in 2020.
Davis explains why he shouted “we’re back” after win
After the Lakers got the win over the Nuggets, Davis was seen pounding his chest and yelling “we’re back,” a type of fire we haven’t seen from Davis since the playoffs. “Yeah, I said, ‘We’re back!’ Tonight we played Laker basketball. We were running, we were helping each other. We were talking, we were sharing the basketball.
“We did everything that Laker basketball consists of. When we continue to do this then we can start adding more wins than losses in our record. So it was good just to see us play our style of basketball tonight. Like I said, we’ve got to feed off of this game.”
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