The Spurs did a good job in the first half of generating open looks from downtown while also mucking up Lakers possessions by clogging the paint and forcing the team’s role players to make shots.
However, talent usually wins out in the NBA and fortunately for Los Angeles, they employ two of the best players in the league in Davis and LeBron James. Both players recorded double-doubles as Davis finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds while James added 33 points and 14 assists.
James carried the offensive load for the team for most of the night as Davis seemed to once again struggle converting from the field. However, he still affected the game as he was everywhere on the defensive end.
When asked if his effort on the offensive boards is in line with his mentality on trying to impact games, Davis agreed and also discussed how he tries to stay engaged, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“For sure. One of the assistant coaches at the end of third was like, ‘Your shot’s not falling, but you’re a plus seven. You’re still impacting the game.’ I still try to impact the game, not just on the offensive end, but on the defensive end as well and do all the little things especially when the shot’s not falling. Just make sure my presence is still felt out on the floor.”
Davis was nearly invisible on the offensive end in the first half as he only had four points, seemingly struggling to get a good look against a Spurs defense that was clearly keying in on him. However, he was paramount in the team’s second-half defensive effort as he challenged several shots at the rim, blocking a couple while also forcing a few misses.
It is apparent the Lakers do not require huge scoring outputs from Davis in order to win games so long as he continues to focus his effort and energy on defense. His size, agility, and instincts make him one of the most dominated forces on that end and it is a huge reason why Los Angeles is in the midst of an eight-game winning streak.
The purple and gold have a good opportunity to close out their road trip on a high note as they face the New Orleans Pelicans.