WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the ball fell by way of the ring late within the fourth quarter on Sunday — Anthony Davis‘ twentieth made subject objective, accounting for his forty ninth and fiftieth factors of the night time — the Capital One Arena crowd let the visiting Los Angeles Lakers huge man hear their appreciation.
“M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!”
“Jayson Tatum is playing his ass off, but when you’re talking about people in the MVP race or category, that probably will change after tonight,” Lakers beginning guard Patrick Beverley stated. “[Davis] should be up there, for sure.”
LeBron James, who completed with 29 factors, eight rebounds and 6 assists, echoed the sentiment.
“He’s been unbelievable, man,” James stated. “On both sides of the floor. I mean, playing like the MVP of this league. Just straight dominance.”
Davis’ efficiency in opposition to the Wizards was one of many most interesting of the 11-year veteran’s profession. It was the second-most factors he has ever scored, and essentially the most he has had in a Lakers uniform as he joined Shaquille O’Neal as the one gamers with back-to-back video games with 40-plus factors and 10-plus rebounds for the purple and gold.
It had been three many years since any participant within the NBA put up a stat line of fifty or extra factors, 15 or extra rebounds and three or extra blocks whereas connecting on no less than 70% of his shot makes an attempt, as Davis (73% from the sphere) mirrored Patrick Ewing’s 50 factors on 71% capturing, 15 rebounds and three blocks that the New York Knicks star put up again on Dec. 1, 1990.
As astounding as his particular person numbers could be, Davis stated his lone focus stays on staff achievement.
“To win a championship,” Davis stated when requested whether or not his objectives for the season now embody incomes his first Larry O’Brien Trophy. “That’s it. If your mindset is on winning a championship, the rest will take care of itself. That’s always been my thought. I put the team first over any individual awards or accolades that come with it. So if we continue to do what we do and win basketball games, the rest will take care of itself.”
Sunday was the Lakers’ third straight victory and their eighth win of their previous 10 video games to raise their file to 10-12 — simply two video games behind the defending-champion Golden State Warriors, at present No. 6 within the Western Conference.
The Lakers’ win capped a elegant stretch for Davis, whose highest profession end in MVP voting was third in 2017-18 when he performed for the New Orleans Pelicans.
In his previous 9 video games, Davis is averaging 35.3 factors on 64.8% from the sphere, 45.5% from 3 and 88% from the foul line whereas tallying 15.6 rebounds and a couple of.9 blocks an evening. Lakers coach Darvin Ham stated issues modified for Davis when he was in a position to absolutely get better from the decrease again ache that had plagued him in coaching camp and that his manufacturing, and confidence, have solely improved since.
“The first and foremost thing is his health,” Ham stated. “I think he’s feeling great, his body is feeling great. He’s had a few back issues early on, but he’s worked his way through them, and you can just see it in his face, as well as see it in his play. He’s having fun playing the game of basketball pain-free. And the guys know it. They know I make him a top priority in terms of who we need to play through.”
James stated a part of his duty is staying in Davis’ ear to let him know simply how a lot he means to the Lakers’ franchise.
“I think we all need to be reminded sometimes,” James stated. “No matter how good you are, no matter what you’ve got going on in your life, we all need to be reminded sometimes why you’re here and what your capabilities are and how much we believe in each other.
“Me, as a frontrunner of the staff, it is a part of my job to ensure, to reassure AD how nice he’s, how nice he’s on this league, not only for this staff, however for this league.”
The Lakers are eager to go as far as Davis will take them.
“He’s completely picked up the torch and he is working with it,” Ham said. “And he is bringing us alongside for the experience. It’s completely nice to see.”