The LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo got off to a rocky start in their first playoff performance, dropping Game 1 to the Portland Trail Blazers in an underwhelming effort.
However, the two quickly turned it around as Davis took control in Game 2, while James finally turned in a vintage playoff performance in Game 3. The pairing was considered the NBA’s top tandem during the 2019-20 season, and they finally showed what they are able to do when both are playing up to their level.
Game 3 in particular was an encouraging flash of what is possible for James and Davis and in the process they joined Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in Lakers playoff history.
Davis (29 points, 11 rebounds) and James (38, 12) became the first pair of Lakers teammates to finish with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds since Bryant and O’Neal did so against the Sacramento Kings in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals.
Bryant and O’Neal were considered the league’s premier superstar duo during their run and James and Davis are the next pair in the storied franchise hoping to bring back titles to Los Angeles.
When asked how he and James have come together so quickly, Davis quipped that there are no other options. “Kind of don’t have a choice, to be honest,” he began.
“We’re two guys that like to have fun, we like to work, we like to win. Off the court we just kind of clicked as two guys who like to have fun, two guys who are big kids, play Xbox, have game nights back in L.A. Stuff like that is unique.
“We’ve known each other for a long time but I think when you’ve got two guys that click like that on and off the floor, is great for an organization.”
LeBron on chemistry with Davis
James drew headlines back during the 2018-19 season when he said it would be “amazing” to play with Davis.
Fast forward a year later, and James got his wish as the Lakers executed a blockbuster trade to bring Davis into the fold. The two led Los Angeles to the Western Conference’s best record and now have them in position to chase the franchise’s 17th championship.
After a Game 3 victory, James talked about how he and Davis have meshed on the court. “I don’t know. I think we definitely work well together,” he said.
“For all the questions going into the season if myself and A.D. can work well together, I think we’ve shown that throughout the course of the season. We just try to work off one another.
“Like in Game 2, he had it going, he carried us and I just tried to do other things to make sure we keep our offense flowing, our pace going and things of that nature. He had it going and we wanted to continue to go back to him. Tonight, we both had our opportunities and we just tried to make the most of it.
“Putting our teammates in position to be successful, doing the right things, making the right reads and living with the results.”
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