The final few minutes of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals essentially became a showdown between the two best big men in the NBA today. Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis and Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic traded buckets down the stretch of a tight game.
Ultimately it was Davis who got the last shot, a 3-pointer at the buzzer over Jokic’s outstretched hand to give the Lakers a 105-103 win and 2-0 series lead.
Jokic finished with 30 points, nine assists, and four steals. Davis matched him every step of the way with 31 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Despite the tough loss, Jokic had nothing but praise for the Lakers star after the game, and LeBron James as well.
“I mean, they have two really good, really good players,” Jokic began. “They have LeBron, who is probably the best player in the league, and they have A.D., who is probably the best scorer in the league. I think it’s not easy to figure them out. They are really talented.
“We can just make it tough, make them feel uncomfortable. They’re going to find solutions.”
Davis can score from anywhere on the court and is an absolute matchup nightmare for basically anyone, as he’s proven in this series.
Most bigs are too slow for Davis and he can take them outside with his shooting and ball-handling skills that are on par with almost any perimeter player. But Davis also has the post skills to dominate any smaller player a team might try to throw at him.
While Jokic attempted to contest after miscommunication between Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant, he sensed the outcome. “I think I had a really good contest, to be honest. I think I was right there,” Jokic said.
“As soon as he shot the ball, he shot it really well. Like, I kind of felt it going in. I think great players make great shots. He did it. He’s a really good player.”
That was undoubtedly a great moment for Davis, which Lakers head coach Frank Vogel referred to as a ‘Mamba Shot’ in honor of Kobe Bryant. With Davis’ heroics, the Lakers remained undefeated when wearing their Black Mamba City Edition jersey in the playoffs.
AD focused on championship over individual accolades
Davis’ game-winner brought the Lakers another step closer to making the NBA Finals and hopefully capturing his first ever championship. Davis has garnered personal recognition recently, being named All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Time.
“That’s always an honor, but we know what the bigger goal is,” he said. “Especially for me, it’s to win a championship. Any time I can get other awards along the way, it’s definitely an honor. Not too many people can say they’ve been First Team, let alone an All-NBA Team.
“I’ve been able to do that several times, so it’s been an honor for me. But I can’t lose track and get excited about that and not remember what the ultimate goal is. I think having a championship trumps every other award. That’s kind of been my mindset.”
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