The Los Angeles Lakers fought as hard as they could while missing numerous important players against the Portland Trail Blazers, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough. Despite the best efforts of Anthony Davis, the Lakers came up just short in Portland, falling 106-101 to the Blazers.
Davis was outstanding on the night, giving the Lakers everything he had. The big man finished with 36 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists while hitting 12-of-23 from the field including 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
The effort was undoubtedly Davis’ best since returning from an Achilles injury just a couple of weeks ago and the big man believed acknowledged that he is feeling more like his normal self.
“I feel good. Put me on the floor, I’m going to try to do as much as I can to help the team win,” Davis said after the loss. “I feel like I’m getting my legs back under me, getting a rhythm. I think the minutes might get extended. I technically didn’t play last night, so I had a bit more juice.”
When a player misses the amount of time that Davis did, it takes some time for them to get back into rhythm. And like an online slots game, no amount of practice time can make up for missing real game experience and even someone of Davis’ caliber needs some time to return to the level of play that the world is used to seeing.
Thanks to the efforts of Davis among other Lakers, the team had a chance to steal the victory over the Trail Blazers but came up short. The Lakers were the victims of a couple of unfortunate calls in the fourth quarter that should have gone their way, but Davis would not put the blame on the refs.
“Plays like that happen in a game. It can dictate the game for sure, but as I said, those plays didn’t cost us the game. We had a lot of other players throughout the course of the game that we broke down on both ends of the floor.
“For sure, those plays can cost us the game, but it’s the other things that we can control. The mental mistakes that we’ve done and the breakdowns that we had on both ends of the floor can really cost you the game.”
The Lakers loss officially dropped the Lakers to seventh in the Western Conference and gave Portland the tiebreaker in the season series. This makes it much more likely that they will have to go through the play-in tournament to make the playoff field.
Unfortunately, because of the endless amount of injuries the Lakers have dealt with this season, something that seemed like a long shot has become a reality. But if Davis is back at his normal level and the Lakers can get LeBron James back in rhythm, the Purple and Gold will be a team that no higher seed wants to see in the first round of the playoffs.
Vogel calls Davis’ performance an ‘Encouraging Sign’
Even though the Lakers lost the game, that doesn’t mean Davis’ performance didn’t stand out to everyone, including Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.
“This is the best game since he’s returned, for sure,” Vogel said. “He’s getting a little bit stronger each game, which is a very encouraging sign. I still think he has still a ways to go until he’s back to really having his rhythm and timing and legs under him. But he had a terrific performance tonight, just as a group, we fell short.”
If the Lakers have James and Dennis Schroder back in the lineup, his role changes, and maybe his numbers aren’t quite as amazing as they were in this game. But his impact, especially defensively is exactly what the team needs and raises their ceiling significantly.
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