There was certainly plenty of buzz surrounding Davis’ return to the Smoothie King Center to take on the Pelicans for the first time since his unceremonious departure. It is safe to say this matchup fit the billing after going down to the wire until a familiar face managed to close out the game for Los Angeles.
The homecoming for Davis could not have gone any better after scoring 41 points while he and James led a late charge to move to 16-2 in the 2019-20 NBA season. Not only was it a season-high mark for Davis, but it was also the most points scored by any player in their first game against a former team.
Although Davis has done what he can to downplay the matchup with his former team, James admits the Lakers were adamant about securing this win for him, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It was our job by any means necessary to get this win for AD. We knew how much it meant to him coming back here. He was spectacular down the stretch, especially putting the game away at the free throw line. Key rebound. Key defensive play. Key steal, so it was a good way to end this four-game road trip.”
James understands full well what it is like to receive an unsavory welcome in a place that he once called home. James’ comments indicate he knew just how important it was that Los Angeles came out on top during a big night for Davis.
There is no question that James managed to do his part in helping his teammate secure a clutch win after registering 29 points, 11 assists, and two steals. He also joined Davis by making a little history of his own after becoming the youngest player ever to score 33,000 career points.
The team’s formidable duo continues to prove why they are arguably the most talented pairing in the league, but it is encouraging to see their growing rapport on and off the court paying huge dividends when it comes to staying in the win column so early in the season.