The Los Angeles Lakers started the season horribly but have recently shown how dangerous a team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis can be. Heading to Milwaukee as sizeable underdogs, they finished the game with a thrilling 133-129 victory that helped them inch closer to battling for a play-in position.
At the heart of the victory was Anthony Davis, who again showed how good he can be when healthy. Davis finished the game with 44 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks while shooting 18 of 27 from the field, which helped him outduel Giannis Antetokounmpo who had 40 points and seven rebounds by the final whistle.
Davis has been on a tear of late, having scored no less than 25 points in his last eight games and eclipsing 30 points five times. When he’s on the court and feeling healthy, he’s shown that he is every bit the dominant force that the Lakers envisioned when they gave up all those pieces for him in the trade that won them a championship.
He’s earned the right to smack talk a little bit now, considering all of the times he’s taken jabs for being on the sidelines. A healthy, motivated Davis is going to be a problem for anyone in the league.
With his co-star in the twilight of his career, Davis now needs to continue performing like this on a nightly basis. He is the key to the Lakers’ future, though it’s fair to say that James is still one of the NBA’s elite. He showed it against the Bucks as well with 28 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and two steals. James also had his own milestone against Milwaukee, as his 11 assists for the game pushed him over Magic Johnson in sixth place on the all-time assists list.
Russell Westbrook also deserves his share of credit for the big victory, as he continues to make an impact off the bench for the Lakers. Westbrook finished the game with 15 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists and showed that he’s willing to make hustle plays for his team.
The Lakers still have a ways to go as their 9-12 record still puts them in 12th place in the loaded Western Conference, but they’re trending in the right direction. Remember, they lost five games in a row before going on their current run 7-2 run.
As a fan of high-level basketball, I hope that Davis and James both continue to stay healthy, as it’s always better to watch teams compete against each other with all of their arsenal available.