With LeBron James out of the lineup due to an ankle injury, the Los Angeles Lakers needed a big performance out of Anthony Davis on Saturday night against the Utah Jazz.
Unfortunately, that is not what the Lakers got as Davis struggled greatly offensively and the Jazz came away with a 132-125 victory at the Delta Center.
The Jazz were making it a point to double-team Davis early and often, forcing him into being a playmaker. That led to mixed results as Davis recorded the second triple-double of his career with 15 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, one steal and four blocks. That statline doesn’t tell the full story, however, as Davis was just 5-of-21 from the field and had six of the Lakers’ 12 turnovers.
After the uncharacteristic performance from Davis, Austin Reaves came to his defense knowing what the criticism would be for the big man, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Yeah, I mean, I can already see the headlines – ‘AD sucks’ or ‘AD can’t do this, can’t do that.’ He had a tough night shooting the ball, other than that, he was fantastic. Like you said, 11 assists, triple-double, from the gate they were doubling him and he was making the right play and I guarantee if you go back and watch the film, if we get him the ball in the positions that he got the ball he missed shots in, you would turn around and do the same thing again. But I thought he played a really good game other than struggling shooting the ball.”
Davis has been on an absolute tear lately, so this was a rare down performance for him. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also shared words of encouragement for Davis knowing how hard he is on himself after these types of games, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“He’s hard on himself. He had some shots that he took that normally go down obviously in his sweet spots. Had some unfortunate turnovers. I just kept trying to tell him and all of us just encouraging him to keep pushing through. You want to call 15-15-11 average, it just lets you know how special he is. Just him being out there and continuing to compete, the four blocked shots. Even though he was having a rough night, 13 defensive rebounds. You just have to push through. It’s unfortunate, bad timing actually with Bron not being in the mix. But kudos to him. He’s continuing to fight as much as he could and made himself available for us and stayed active defensively, making plays for his teammates thus the 11 assists.”
The hope is that this was just a one-off performance from Davis and he will get back to being his usual dominant self in the Lakers’ next game, especially if James continues to miss time.
Anthony Davis takes responsibility for Lakers loss to Jazz
Davis has always been one to hold himself accountable after poor performances, and that was again the case after the loss to the Jazz as he put it squarely on his shoulders.
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