On Friday, when the Los Angeles Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers, Anthony Davis put up a monster stat line that went to waste in a loss. On Sunday, his teammates made sure that didn’t happen again.
Despite the fact that they were missing LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schröder, the Lakers were able to upset the No. 2 Phoenix Suns 123-110 at Staples Center on Sunday behind an incredible night from Davis. In 40 minutes, Davis tallied 42 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks. He’s scored at least 35 points in his last two games.
The stat line should speak for itself, but it doesn’t. Davis was flat-out dominant on both ends of the floor against a really good team. You could argue it was just a bad matchup for the Suns, but Davis did this on a consistent basis last season too — and if it was just a bad matchup, the Lakers can live with that because, if the playoffs ended today, they’d play them in the first-round, assuming they’d win their play-in game too.
Most people could have probably predicted Davis would have a big night, though: the Suns really don’t have an answer for him on their roster and, with James out, he was going to be the focal point of the offense. What did come as a surprise was how comfortable Alex Caruso looked running the show on Sunday night.
In addition to his usual lockdown defense, Caruso provided the Lakers with 17 points, 8 assists and 3 steals. He might not start every game in the postseason, but if he can build on his confident display on Sunday, he’ll close a lot of them. The same can be said of Wesley Matthews, who also looked great in his eighth start of the season.
The Lakers will be back at it on Tuesday to take on the New York Knicks.