Lakers News: Anthony Davis Wants To Ensure Talen Horton-Tucker Doesn’t ‘Slow Down’ After Injured Teammates Return
(Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images).

Los Angeles Lakers young wing Talen Horton-Tucker has been nothing but spectacular since he made his 2021-22 debut last week, overshadowing his more renowned teammates in the last two games.

Horton-Tucker registered a new career-high in scoring, dropping team-high 28 points against the Chicago Bulls on Monday. And in Wednesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, he nearly improved it with another team-high of 25 points — while also leading L.A. in rebounding thanks to his 12 boards.

Horton-Tucker is averaging 23 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, spending 34.3 minutes on the floor over the three games he has played this season. The Iowa State product’s form earned him praise from Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis, who acknowledged the guard’s impact on both ends of the floor.

“Yeah, no matter his role, whether he starts or comes off the bench, we need his energy the way he’s been playing, he has to keep that,” Davis said. “Keep that same mindset when he comes in and he’s shooting the ball well, he’s making the right reads, he’s doing great things for us defensively.”

Horton-Tucker jumped right into the Lakers’ starting lineup upon his comeback. His fine form prompted head coach Frank Vogel to suggest the 20-year-old could remain part of the starting unit even after LeBron James returns from his abdomen injury.

And similarly, Davis said L.A. needs to make sure that Horton-Tucker maintains his momentum when the currently injured Lakers come back to play.

“[W]e don’t want that to kind of slow down or kind of fade away when we get guys back, or his role changes,” he said. “So we’ve got to make sure that we stay on him to continue to be locked in.

“But he’s looked great for us and he’s been helping us big time at the point guard position, attacking the gaps, getting downhill, finishing, making the reads, and kicking it out to our shooters. Defensively, poking at the ball.

“So he’s been big, he’s been big for us and I think this is only his second game back or third game. So he’s doing all this and he’s still getting in game shape and getting in rhythm. So he’s going to be good for us.”

Horton-Tucker: I trusted my work during summertime training camp

Horton-Tucker said he approached his season debut trusting the hard work he put in over the summer. He added that during his absence, he was able to focus on improving the mechanics of his shot.

That has paid off tremendously, as Horton-Tucker is shooting 40% from beyond the arc this season, improving from the 28.2% he registered last year.

“When I first got hurt, after I had surgery, I didn’t have any feeling in my hand,” Horton-Tucker said.

“So coming back, I’m just trying to focus on getting my follow through right, finishing my shot, just all the little mechanics that go into shooting. Being able to focus on that the time I’ve been out, including on top of the summer work that I put in, I feel like it’s been coming.”

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