Lakers’ LeBron James reacts to Anthony Davis’ record-setting performance
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers came close to not having Anthony Davis playing in Tuesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. There was a chance even in the game that his night would come to an end prematurely as he went to the locker room to get his shoulder checked out.
Fortunately for Los Angeles, Davis played and even stayed in the game after getting even more banged up during the matchup with Ja Morant and company. That grit-and-grind mentality struck a cord with head coach Frank Vogel, who thought the team might have to go on without their superstar forward/center.
“He gutted it out, playing in some pain, and it was dominant,” Vogel said of Davis. “The pressure he puts on the defense with his ability to spin out of lobs, attack the basket with the ball, and then what he’s doing on the glass is spectacular as well. They didn’t have an answer for him tonight, and he was terrific.”
Not only was Vogel impressed that Davis was able to play through his shoulder issue, but he’s “pretty sure” he’s never seen a performance like what he witnessed on Tuesday night at the Staples Center.
“I’m pretty sure I have not,” Vogel admitted. “I haven’t ever seen 40 points and 20 rebounds in 30 minutes.”
Davis’ performance was about as dominant as it gets with the Grizzlies frustrated all night long. Memphis’ only answer for Davis was to put him on the free-throw line, and that didn’t work either. The perennial All-Star had 27 attempts from the line and only missed one setting a franchise record for free throws made in a game (26).
LeBron James, who finished with 23 points and eight assists, believes that his new Lakers teammate is just getting started in terms of what he can do in purple and gold.
“I don’t even think he’s scratched the surface yet,” James said of Davis’ potential. “I think we’re all still getting comfortable with one another. I think he’s still getting comfortable out on the floor. When he’s attacking like that, the guy shoots high in the ’80s-’90s from the free-throw line. That’s easy money for him and is great for our defense as well. It’s great for our team being able to set our game down like that. He was wonderful tonight. Spectacular in all facets, both offensively and defensively.”
With this win, the Lakers improve to 3-1 on the season ahead of their first real road trip away from Los Angeles. Vogel’s squad will embark on a three-game road trip before heading back to the Staples Center on Nov. 8 to take on the new-look Miami Heat led by Jimmy Butler.