Lakers News: Anthony Davis Credits ‘Effort’ For Historic Performance Against Timberwolves
Anthony Davis, Lakers
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Anthony Davis put forth one of the best performances of his NBA career on Sunday night. Davis finished the game with 27 points, 25 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and three blocks as the Los Angeles Lakers took down the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-109.

Davis became the first player in NBA history to have at least 25 points, 25 rebounds, five assists and five steals in a game.

It was truly an unbelievable performance and one which the Lakers needed against one of the top teams in the West. And that was the driving force for Davis’ performance as he knew he needed to give maximum effort for the Lakers to get a win and keep trying to climb the standings.

“Effort. Knowing the importance of the game,” Davis responded when asked what led to his huge night. “This team is number two in the West, they’re still a good team. Obviously, they’re missing key parts of their team, but you still have Mike [Conley], Ant [Edwards], Naz played well.

“Guys who can make plays and they still find a way to win ball games, so we just want to come out as a team effort knowing where we are in the standing and saying how important this game was trying to close the gap in the standings.”

The Timberwolves were without both their starting bigs in Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, but as Davis noted, they are still a very capable team and the Lakers had to fight for this victory. Davis’ numbers were even a surprise to him as he had no clue he was putting together a historic stat line.

“No. I mean, I just heard DLo on the bench just say I bet you can’t get a triple-double with steals,” Davis added. “He told me I had seven steals. Then rebounds, I didn’t know much about so. I don’t think I had that many. I think I had like five at the half or four or something like that. So I didn’t think I had 25… I knew I probably had at least 15 or something like that but 25 is a lot.”

Only seven other players in NBA history have had a 25-point, 25-rebound contest with Nikola Jokic being the last to pull off the feat a season ago. Davis was absolutely dominant when the Lakers needed him to be which has been the case far more often than not over the past couple of seasons.

Stat lines like this from Davis obviously won’t be the norm, but this level of effort and dominance in the paint makes the Lakers an extremely dangerous team down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs.

Anthony Davis discusses the ideal balance for Lakers offense

Getting the offense of the Lakers on track consistently has been a struggle this season, but the team finally seems to be turning a corner. With Anthony Davis dominating the paint, LeBron James continuing to produce and D’Angelo Russell reaching a new level, the Lakers have a lot of options and Davis feels the team is beginning to find the right balance.

“If we throw it into the post and teams double, we obviously get a lot of great looks out of it,” Davis said. “We get a lot of easy basket cuts or open threes. But our pick-and-roll game has been very elite right now with the guards attacking downhill and creating open shots for our shooters or easy walks to the rim for a lob.

“So we try to find the balance, we talked about it. Me and coach talk about trying to find a balance and still getting touches. It’s not just setting screens all game, but when it’s going that way and we have an advantage in that department, trying to just keep doing it and just get offensive rebounds and find other ways to get going.”

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