Anthony Davis dropped 55 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Washington Wizards for a 130-119 win on Sunday night, and anyone who watched the game could tell that he was playing basketball about as well as, if not better than, we’ve ever seen him play it.
That was evident in the numbers, too (as Edwin Garcia already covered in our recap), like how those 55 points were the most AD has scored as a Laker and were just four points off his career high of 59, and how this is just his second time ever scoring at least 40 points in two games in a row.
What you might not have known, however, was just how rarified the air Davis was in historically after his performances on Friday and Sunday. So in a format specialized in by my friend Marc Stein over at his must-read Substack, let’s do a little “Numbers Game” for Anthony Marshon Davis to round up some stats that show just how special his dominant night and weekend have been.
That’s how many players — including, now, Davis himself — have managed to put up 55 points and 17 rebounds EVER, as found by my colleague Hector Diaz of SB Nation’s social team.
He’s joining a pretty esteemed list:
Anthony Davis scored 55 PTS and grabbed 17 REB. Only nine other players in NBA history have done that:— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 5, 2022
• Elgin Baylor
• George Mikan
• Bob Pettit
• Karl Malone
• KAT pic.twitter.com/SMoIbJFvrC
It’s been more than 32 years since another player scored 50 points while also snatching 15 rebounds or more, blocking three or more shots and shooting 70% from the field.
Anthony Davis is the first player since Patrick Ewing to record 50+ points, 15+ rebounds, and 3+ blocks on 70% shooting in a regular season game:— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) December 5, 2022
Patrick Ewing - 50 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks on 71% shooting on 12/1/1990 https://t.co/anmIrlecxa
That’s how many Lakers ever have scored at least 40 points and grabbed a minimum of 10 rebounds in two consecutive games. Considering the caliber of big men that have played for this franchise, that’s pretty impressive.
Anthony Davis joins Shaquille O’Neal as the only Lakers to record 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in back-to-back games:— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) December 5, 2022
Shaquille O’Neal – 4/5/2000 to 4/14/2000
Anthony Davis – 12/2/2022 to 12/4/2022 https://t.co/anmIrkW3j2 pic.twitter.com/vvL1D23EWZ
That’s how many Lakers have ever scored at least 40 points while also grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking three shots over two games in a row since such stats were tracked. The list is literally just Davis.
Since blocks became official in 1973-74, Anthony Davis is the 1st player in Lakers franchise history to record 40+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 3+ blocks in back-to-back games. https://t.co/anmIrkW3j2 pic.twitter.com/vUIHXG5gJd— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) December 5, 2022
The number of Lakers, including Davis, who have ever scored 50 points twice in purple and gold.
Davis joins these Lakers with at least two 50-point games:— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 5, 2022
George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
The jersey number of the last Laker to score 40 points in two consecutive games.
So this is going a little further back than just two games, but the above are how many points per game Davis was averaging (on 52.9% shooting and 23.1% from three) over his first eight games of the season, after which Bill Simmons spoke about the league “buzzing” — read; salivating — about the possibility of the Lakers trading him, starting a days-long national dialogue about the topic.
How many points per game Davis has averaged over his 12 appearances since then, while shooting 62.6% from the field and making 42.9% of his threes. With the Lakers now nearly .500 again in large part due to Davis’ historic production, safe to say no one in the league thinks he’s going anywhere anymore.
This is really not a stat, but I had to include this guest submission from Lakers wing Troy Brown Jr., on the direction a player’s plus-minus goes if they spend time on the floor with AD:
The added bonuses of Anthony Davis' dominance:— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 5, 2022
"If you're in the game with him, your plus/minus is going up," Troy Brown Jr. said.
And in case you were wondering, that statement checks out. Among Lakers to appear in more than 150 minutes so far, Davis (+2.8) has the highest net rating, per NBA.com, and the only player the team is worse with off the floor than Davis (-5.6) is Austin Reaves (-5.9).
Had to end with the most important stat of all: The Lakers’ win percentage while going undefeated to start their road trip while Davis with Davis managing this production, which is also the only stat that mattered to the man himself.
"You guys know me, it doesn't matter unless we get the win" Anthony Davis said but he acknowledged that he needs to be locked in and ready to dominate for the Lakers to achieve their goals.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 5, 2022
So yeah, if these last two games from Davis have felt like something you’ve never witnessed before, chances are it’s because they probably were. Getting to watch him play this level of basketball after an injury-riddled last two seasons is a real treat, and I know that I will be trying to enjoy every second of it.