The Los Angeles Lakers took a commanding 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals on Friday mostly behind huge performances from the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The two superstars combined for 65 points on 29-45 shooting on the night and added 10 assists and 23 rebounds between them.
That scoring performance immediately put James and Davis in the Lakers’ record books as they became the first pair of Lakers teammates to score 60 points in a Finals game since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal did it in 2002 to go up 3-0 against the New Jersey Nets. It was a fitting statistic for a partnership that has been routinely compared to the so-called most dominant duo ever.
After the game, both James and Davis reacted to their recent accomplishment and the comparisons to an iconic duo and team in Kobe and Shaq’s Lakers:
"He's Kobe, because he handles the ball, and I'm Shaq because I play in the post." – AD, on who is Kobe and who is Shaq in his pairing with LeBron.
He called Shaq and Kobe the best duo he's ever seen. https://t.co/h0GHJCT9Od
— Finals Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 3, 2020
You can see LeBron’s full answer here:
"I grew up admiring Kobe… It’s just very humbling and happy we can be even mentioned with those greats.”
LeBron on him and AD being compared to Shaq and Kobe. pic.twitter.com/LVCEducIaE
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) October 3, 2020
James’ relationship with Kobe is well known by now and Davis has also revealed stories about Bryant mentoring him early in his career. Following Bryant’s tragic loss, every comparison to the Lakers legend – particularly in a game where the Lakers wear the Kobe-inspired Black Mamba jerseys – has to feel special for both of them.
Lakers fans have been very blessed to see multiple monumental duos throughout the history of the franchise between Magic and Kareem, Kobe and Shaq, Kobe and Pau, and now LeBron and AD (among many others). It’s going to take some time for James and Davis to rack up the accolades that those others did with the Lakers, but after this season it’s really hard to doubt them.