If the Los Angeles Lakers were going to upset the Denver Nuggets with two of their starters — LeBron James and Dennis Schröder — sidelined on Monday, they were going to need the best version of Anthony Davis or close to it. Fortunately for them, that’s exactly what they got.
In his seventh game back from injury, Davis led the Lakers to a 93-89 win over the Nuggets to the tune of 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Monday marked their second win since Davis’ return, and their first win in four games.
Davis has had higher-scoring nights than the one he had against the Nuggets, but Monday night was easily the most impactful he’s been on both ends since he made his return. He and Alex Caruso were the only Lakers starters with positive plus-minuses. Andre Drummond was a team-worst at -11.
That being said, Davis wasn’t the most impactful player on the floor for the Lakers: That honor belonged to Marc Gasol.
While Gasol barely cracked double figures on Monday, he posted the highest plus-minus of the night at +17. When you consider the favorite to win the MVP Award was on the other side of the court, playing his position, that’s impressive. Gasol ended the night with a stat line of 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.
Maybe Andre Drummond will figure out his role with the Lakers eventually, but for the time being, it’s clear who the best center on the team is, and it’s not him; it’s Gasol.
The Lakers earned themselves another night in the top six in the Western Conference with a win on Monday, but they also caught a break because the Atlanta Hawks beat the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the day. They’ll be hoping their luck carries into their game against the LA Clippers on Thursday.