The Los Angeles Lakers don’t have a ton of room for error down the stretch of the season. They are fighting for a spot in the playoffs, but in a crowded Western Conference, there are six other teams withing two games of them in the standings.
On Friday night, they were entrenched in a tough game against the Dallas Mavericks. Luka Doncic was out, but Kyrie Irving made his return to the court. LA made a huge push in the fourth, but at the end of the game, Irving made a nice pass to Maxi Kleber, who hit the game-winning three. Anthony Davis spoke about the play after the game.
“With seven seconds, he [Irving] dribbled almost the whole clock out,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Me just reading him. Knowing that he’s probably going to take the last shot. He goes into his actual shooting motion and just comes down with it. He doesn’t shoot it. So, when he goes up [and] it kind of pulled me in. I was going for the rebound. Thought he was shooting it. He made a pass to Kleber. He makes the shot.”
Davis was guarding Kleber on the play, but Irving’s fake shot pulled him away from the three-point line, allowing the Mavericks big man to get open. To make matters worse, Davis fouled Kleber on a three-point attempt on the previous defensive possession, allowing Dallas to get back into it.
A rough few possessions at the end of the game ruined an otherwise solid performance. The Lakers big man finished the night with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists on 9-of-14 shooting from the field.
D’Angelo Russell on Anthony Davis Absence
In the Lakers’ previous game against the Houston Rockets, Davis was out, and LA lost. After the game, D’Angelo Russell spoke about what it was like to play without Davis on the court.
“He’s a player that demands so much attention,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It’s a lot of gravity that goes his way, and when he’s on the floor, obviously, you get a lot of easier opportunities to capitalize on. And when he’s not, you got to make up for it. When you’re facing a team that switches, no matter what team you’re facing, it makes the offense a little more stagnant. So, it has to be more ball movement, more continuity, more quick hitters, and second and third options. Things like that. So, like I said, we’re a team that’s figured a lot of things out. There are holes in our system right now that, obviously, we’re trying to figure it out. And when we’re not all out there, it’s going to make it hard.”
D’Angelo Russell Praises Anthony Davis
Meanwhile, in the Lakers’ recent win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Davis played very well, and Russell showed love to the big man after the contest.
“To answer your question, AD is a monster,” Russell said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He continues to dominate the games. From defensively or offensively, tonight, he did a little bit of both. So, he continues to help our team. And then our supporting cast was amazing as well. I think that’s what got us over the hump.”