While LeBron James and Russell Westbrook were dominant in the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Boston Celtics, big man Anthony Davis struggled early on. Davis scored just seven points in the first half and also had three turnovers, though the Lakers still held a five-point lead.
Davis would ultimately finish with 17 points, 16 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the 15-point victory, though it was far from his best performance of the season. After the game, Davis spoke to the difference in his performances in each half while praising his teammates for picking it up while he was not at his best.
“Energy. Lost the ball a couple times, that’s really it,” Davis said after the contest. “Just coming out, teammates stayed in my ear. LeBron told me to scrap it, everybody was saying it’s one half, second half let’s go. I tried to be a little more aggressive.
“The good thing about it, we got a team that can pick up the slack when somebody’s slacking, and then tonight was me,” Davis continued. “We had guys Bron, Russ, AB, Talen, Malik. All these guys came in and picked up the slack until I was able to find a rhythm. That’s really what it was. Just coming out, and just trying to do the intangibles, rebounding, talking on the defensive end, setting screens, just trying to get guys open and let that just kind of play into my offense.”
Davis certainly did those other things on the night and it is impressive when he is able to impact the game in those other ways, which shows how skilled he is. Coincidentally on this night, it was the third quarter that was the difference in the Lakers’ favor as they held Boston to just 20 points.
That type of defensive performance is what the team needs and Davis understands that when they defend at this level, they won’t lose too often.
“Our third quarters have been great, to be honest,” Davis added. “We kind of struggled towards the beginning of the year and tonight we held this team to 20 points in the third quarter. So just coming out, coming out at halftime with a better start and not coming out with those slow starts, starts from turnovers, bad shots, transitions, things like that.
“But once we lock in defensively and do what we did tonight, we’re a tough team to beat. So, we just got to continue to build off this game as far as the defensive standpoint, we carry that to the next two games at [Memphis] and OKC.”
The Lakers are beginning to show more signs of looking like the team many envisioned them being and locking in that defense will be the key to their success moving forward.
Davis says Lakers must ‘keep shooting’ despite 3-point struggles
The Lakers dominated the paint against the Celtics, but it was a struggle once again from 3-point range as they made just 8-of-27 from deep. Following another recent game, Davis spoke about the Lakers’ need to continue to shoot despite their struggles.
“We’ll take the looks that we got, great looks. That’s all we do, must try to continue to take great shots, get in the paint and kick it out to the shooters and just keep shooting the ball with confidence. It’ll turn from three for us when we get hot. But we just got to continue to shoot the ball with confidence and don’t get down on ourselves.”
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