Anthony Davis’ return coincided with a double-header against the Dallas Mavericks, who are lurking behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings.
The 28-year-old forward played 11 more minutes than in the first of the back-to-back games, scoring 17 points in addition to three rebounds and three assists. But L.A. lost to Dallas again, falling 108-93 after squandering a 17-point lead on Saturday.
It was a bittersweet evening for Davis, who reiterated he felt good being back on the hardwood and shrugging off the rust. “The wind was there, each game I’m starting to get my wind back more,” he said. “I felt fine physically. I was able to make a couple shots even though I didn’t shoot well from the floor. Some shots started to go through the rim, free throws and things like that. So every game I’m getting my rhythm back.
“But it’s a tough one for us and Orlando and D.C. are must-wins for us, for sure.”
The Lakers have 12 regular-season games left to play. During that stint, they’ll be treading a fine line fighting for wins while also allowing their All-Stars – LeBron James could reportedly return in the coming week – to get back in shape.
Davis pointed out the NBA’s restrictions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic make it even tougher to re-establish a connection with his teammates. “It’s like you’re starting over with the guys and just trying to find a connection with these guys again, they’re trying to find a connection with me so it’s like we’re starting from zero, which is tough so late in the season,” he said.
“But it’s something that we have to figure out, like I said, I know we have no practice time, I had one practice. So rhythm comes from the games, but you want to be able to win those games still.”
Hence for Davis, the process of reintroducing himself to the team is a race against time as to achieve that, the forward said, all he needs is to play. “I think I’m getting to the shots, everything’s short,” he said. “It’s a legs thing and a rhythm thing.
“Getting your legs back, playing game basketball, I think that comes with just continuously playing games, getting more minutes to get your game legs back. But I liked all the shots, all the threes I took I liked, all the middys that I took I liked.”
Davis explains holding his calf in loss to Dallas
A few breaths were held in despair when Davis fell to the ground holding his calf in the Saturday showdown against Dallas. The Lakers forward seemed to hobble a little after getting a kick to his leg but remained in the game.
Davis later explained he took a hit to the other calf — not the one he injured in February — and that the incident wasn’t anything to worry about. “I got kicked in the calf, that’s all. Little spaz for a second but it’s fine. It was the left one, it was the other one,” he said.
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