Anthony Davis is showing he is ready to shoulder the load for the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James out of the lineup.
Davis scored 39 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, as the Lakers held on for a 113-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
It is the third time this season Davis has had at least 39 points. It also came two nights after he scored 38 in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“He’s in a very great place right now,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “He has an unwillingness to settle and is staying in attack mode. He’s playing pain free and with great rhythm. We also have different pieces around him he can play off at a high level.”
The Lakers improved to 2-2 since James suffered a foot tendon injury on Feb. 26 at Dallas.
Los Angeles’ win snapped Golden State’s five-game winning streak and put a damper on Stephen Curry’s return. Curry, who missed 11 games due to a left leg injury, had 19 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter.
“It felt great to get thrown back in there right away,” Curry said. “If I get better as the game goes on, that’s always a great sign for me individually. Even though we lost, some bright spots for sure.”
Davis scored eight points in the final 4:05 to give the Lakers their third win in four meetings this season against the defending NBA champions.
The Lakers led most of the game but a 3-pointer by Golden State’s Anthony Lamb tied it at 91 with 5:37 remaining in the game. Los Angeles ran off seven straight points and would go up 103-95 before 3-pointers by Klay Thompson and Curry made it a two-point game with 1:46 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Davis made a pair of free throws to put the Lakers up four. Curry missed on a 25-foot pullup shot and the Lakers took advantage. After Troy Brown Jr. got the rebound, Davis drove and hit a floater over Draymond Green to make it a 107-101 game with 48.9 seconds left.
“I’m trying to be a little bit more aggressive. Also trying to make the right plays for guys to get to their points because it is going to open the floor for me even more,” said Davis, who also had eight rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes.
Austin Reaves scored 16 points and Brown had 14 for the Lakers as they moved within a half game of New Orleans for 10th place in the Western Conference and the final play-in spot.
Thompson added 22 points for Golden State, which is in fifth place in the Western Conference.
“It has been a bad stretch of starts for us,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I thought there were some key stretches where we got careless. I love the way they competed and we played with good energy but we never could quite get over the hump.”
The Lakers jumped out to a 32-12 lead with 3:43 remaining in the first quarter on the strength of a 28-5 run that included 12 points by Davis.
The Warriors countered with a 28-9 rally that was keyed by six 3-pointers. Curry had eight straight points during the run while Donte DiVincenzo and Jordan Poole scored six apiece.
Warriors: Fell to 7-24 on the road, which is tied for the third-least wins away from home. … Green had 15 points and nine rebounds. …. Thompson scored the first nine points before Poole hit a free throw with 6:43 remaining in the first.
Lakers: Jarred Vanderbilt had 10 points and 13 rebounds. … Mo Bamba sprained his left ankle during the first quarter and did not return.
Warriors: Travel to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Lakers: Host Memphis on Tuesday.
Source: NBC Los Angeles
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