Anthony Davis had a monster night against the Charlotte Hornets, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to an overtime 126-123 victory on Monday night.
Davis scored game-high 32 points and added 12 rebounds as well as five blocks, helping the Lakers avoid their third loss in a row. It turns out the 28-year-old All-Star put up the impressive numbers while still struggling with the stomach bug that forced him out of the loss against the Portland Trail Blazers after seven minutes.
The forward threw up in the middle of the game again but returned to play and stayed on the floor for 44 minutes — more than any Lakers or Hornets player that night. Carmelo Anthony said he didn’t even know Davis left the game because of his stomach issues.
The 37-year-old forward added his younger teammate’s perseverance in the Monday victory proves his toughness, which has been doubted in the past.
“Well, I mean, I don’t know who’s questioned that, I don’t know,” Anthony said. “Maybe you guys, you guys write that, question that. But when I’m around him, I know what type of player is, I know what type of person he is.
“I think a lot of times we find a narrative and we try to stick to it, it comes with athletes. I know he’s not. So if I know he’s tough, I know if he’s out there, he can play, he’s gonna play. So that’s the only thing that matters to me.”
Russell Westbrook joined Anthony in praising Davis’ commitment and leadership.
“He can do everything. He’s a team guy, which is something that you want,” Westbrook said.
“And he’s defending, rebounding, scoring, laying it all on the line regardless of things that are bothering him, injuries, whatever that may be. He always cares about the team first and wants to be able to make sure the team is having an opportunity to be able to win a basketball game.”
Head coach Frank Vogel revealed last week that Davis has been insisting on playing through injuries this season after missing half of last campaign’s games due to health problems.
Vogel: Lakers wouldn’t have beaten Hornets without Davis
Vogel said the Lakers owe their latest victory to Davis and his sacrifice, emphasizing the forward’s impact on both ends of the floor.
“Yeah, he’s dealing with a lot of stuff right now, his thumb and obviously being really sick, and he’s toughing it out,” Vogel said. “We don’t win this game tonight without him having that mindset that he’s going to push through his health adversity that he’s facing.
“And he was terrific as well on both sides of the ball, had some key blocks, really anchored our defense well for long stretches at the five spot in the coverage that we wanted with LaMelo. And obviously had that key block at the end and made some big buckets and big free throws.”
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