The Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 116-108 last night, as the purple-and-gold secured their first number one overall seed in the Western Conference since the 2009-10 season. The entertaining win last night was led by Anthony Davis, who had 42 points and 12 rebounds in a dominant performance against former DPOY winner (and current candidate) Rudy Gobert.
The game came after a subpar performance from Davis in Saturday’s loss against the Toronto Raptors. In that game, he only had 14 points on only seven field-goal attempts with a -17 plus/minus on the night. After the game against the Jazz, Davis admitted that he came out with the intention of being “very aggressive”. He also said this was asked of him by the coaches after the game against the Raptors (quote courtesy of Lakers Nation reporting).
Anthony Davis: "Coaches told me to be more aggressive. They felt like, and I felt like I played into Toronto's defense. … I tried to come out very aggressive tonight and still make smart plays."
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) August 4, 2020
To give Davis even more credit, head coach Frank Vogel said after the game that the Lakers may have set up some early plays for AD to succeed but that it was AD who piled in the rest with his “inner drive”. The Lakers will take that “inner drive” any time they can get it, especially as LeBron James continues to have a bit of a slow start in the bubble, at least on the offensive end. LeBron had 22 points last night making that his highest total so far in the bubble with a 20-point performance against the Raptors on Saturday and a 16-point performance against the Clippers on Thursday. Davis did average more points-per-game this year than LeBron, with the Lakers being such a more dominant team if Davis is torching the opposition. If he can do it against Rudy Gobert and the rest of the good defenders on the Jazz, then it’s somewhat safe to assume that he can do it to the rest of the NBA if need be.