Anthony Davis answers his own call, leads Lakers over Suns in Game 2
Anthony Davis’ harsh self-assessment after the Lakers lost Game 1 to the Suns drew plenty of attention.
“There’s no way we’re winning a game, let alone a series, with me playing the way that I played,” Davis said. “So, I mean, this is on me. I take full responsibility, for sure.”
But that’s not all Davis said.
“I’m not too worried about my performance,” Davis added. “I know I’ll be better. I know we’ll be better in Game 2.”
Davis delivered, leading the Lakers to a 109-102 win in Game 2 Tuesday. They head to Los Angeles for Game 3 Thursday with the series tied 1-1.
When splitting the first two games of a best-of-seven series on the road, teams have won the series just 39% of the time. For a No. 7 seed vs. a No. 2 seed, it’s only 9%.
But the Lakers aren’t a typical No. 7 seed.
Not with LeBron James and Davis.
Davis (34 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and a steal) played an excellent all-around game. He shot 21 free throws (making 18), because he played aggressively and got a favorable whistle. His defense was even more imposing than box-score stats show.
LeBron (23 points, nine assists and two steals) looked relatively healthy with a couple dunks early. He controlled the flow offensively throughout the game.
The Suns just couldn’t match that star-level output – especially with Chris Paul ailing.
Playing with a bum shoulder, Paul looked extremely reluctant to shoot. He finished with six points and five assists in just 23 minutes.
Devin Booker (31 points, three assists and four turnovers) tried to step up with Paul hobbled. But Booker was too sloppy with the ball when focused on facilitating. He fared better when in more of his usual score-first role.
Deandre Ayton (22 points and 10 rebounds) was sturdy inside. Cameron Payne (19 points, seven assists, two blocks and a steal) provided a spark off the bench, helping Phoenix erase a 15-point halftime deficit.
The Lakers built that lead behind contributions from Dennis Schroder (24 points) and Andre Drummond (15 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and a block).
Drummond had enough adventurous plays that Lakers fans won’t suddenly trust him. Nor did Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who played Marc Gasol then Alex Caruso with the other starters late. But, sometimes, Drummond comes out ahead with size, athleticism and aggressiveness inside. Tonight was one of those nights.
It wasn’t the Suns’ night, though – as Jae Crowder felt hardest: