Anthony Davis gets to line, finds rhythm in Lakers’ Game 2 win – Arizona Sports

anthony davis game 2 suns lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis shouts as he celebrates a stop against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Phoenix. The Lakers defeated the Suns 109-102. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

After getting outplayed by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton in Game 1 of his team’s first-round series, Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis turned things around in Game 2.

Davis ended Tuesday night with 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, leading the Lakers to a 109-102 win to tie the series, 1-1.

He found a rhythm at the free-throw line, where he went 18-of-21. He even went 2-of-4 from three-point range, a positive for the Lakers forward who has shot 21% from deep since the All-Star break.

Game 1 was a much different story.

As Ayton pushed the Lakers around for 21 points and 16 rebounds, Davis ended with a meek 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go with seven boards.

So what changed for the Lakers star?

“Locked in,” Davis said to TNT’s Chris Haynes in a postgame interview.

“I know my performance [in Game 1] … was terrible. In order for us to win series, win games, I can’t have that performance.”

In Game 2, after the Suns took a one-point lead with 8:06 left in the fourth quarter, Davis scored 13 of the team’s final 26 points to secure the victory. But he also got going early, scoring six first-quarter points to go with a block and two assists — one a pass for a LeBron James alley-oop dunk.

“Get him the ball early, often and always,” James said in his postgame press conference.

“It’s that simple. He responds to games like Game 1. He’s not a guy who talks about it; he’s about it.”

For Los Angeles, what may be even more important than the performance in a vacuum is what it could mean for Davis’ health.

He missed two months earlier this season with an injury to his calf and Achilles tendon. When Davis returned, he suffered back spasms and had to sit out for the remainder of a May 6 game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Now, Davis looks closer to fully healthy and may have just found his groove.

That could make winning the first-round series even tougher for Phoenix, which surrendered a season-high 42 points to Davis in the teams’ last regular season meeting.

Meanwhile, Suns point guard Chris Paul’s shoulder issue that is reportedly a stinger remains a question for Los Angeles’ opponent. If the Suns point guard isn’t 100%, that means Ayton and Devin Booker will be relied upon even more to counter Davis and James, the latter of whom is dealing with the effects of a high ankle sprain.

“We’re getting better each game. Still figuring things out, still figuring rotations .. we’re still playing with lineups,” Davis said. “This is how it’s gonna be. And the good thing about it is we can do that. We can do that because we have a lot of guys … who have played in these types of situations.

“It’s a good problem to have. … The more and more we step on the floor together, that’ll be good.”

Game 3 in Los Angeles tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. and will air on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.