On Sunday, Anthony Davis dropped 50 points on the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, he didn't do so with the typical barrage-of-3-pointers way most superstars get to the half-century mark in the NBA these days.
His performance was one we had to dig into a little bit more and, in doing so, unearthed these stats facts for you:
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1. In leading the Lakers to a 142-125 win, Davis used a variety of methods to get to his 50 points (as his shot chart below can attest). Davis was 20-for-29 overall against Minnesota, but 16 of those 20 makes came in the paint.
From layups to spin moves to transition basket feeds from LeBron James, Davis was definitely active around the basket all game long. And when he wasn't getting loose for easy baskets (he scored 15 fast-break points), he was getting fouled ... and making them count. Davis was 10-for-10 from the line, marking his second game this season in which he was perfect at the line (with a minimum of 10 free throw attempts). His last such game came on Nov. 22 against the Thunder, when he was 11-for-11 en route to a 33-point game.
Overall, Davis' line read as follows: 39 minutes played, 50 points (20-for-29 FG, 10-for-10 FT), seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and one block.
“It was very special to do something like this in front of these great fans, a historical franchise and my teammates, especially the way we’ve been playing,” Davis said. “It was nothing but amazing.”
Davis' old-school approach to getting to this milestone pleased his coach.
“No 3s, 20 for 29, and then living at the free throw line, post ups, offensive rebounds, crashes, all those types of things. Just an old-school performance and one for the ages,” Vogel said after the game.
2. In dropping 50 on the Wolves, Davis also became the first big man teammate of James to score 45 or more in a game. Previously, the five best performances by a James teammate were done by a guard (Kyrie Irving in Cleveland; Dwyane Wade in Miami).
|Teammate (Team)||Date (Opponent)||Points|
|Kyrie Irving (Cavs)||March 12, 2015 vs. Spurs||57 points|
|Anthony Davis (Lakers)||Dec. 8, 2019 vs. Wolves||50 points|
|Kyrie Irving (Cavs)||Jan. 23, 2017 vs. Pelicans||49 points|
|Kyrie Irving (Cavs)||March 19, 2017 vs. Lakers||46 points|
|Kyrie Irving (Cavs)||April 9, 2017 vs. Hawks||45 points|
|Dwyane Wade (Heat)||Dec. 29, 2010 vs. Rockets||45 points|
3. To date, the Lakers rank in the top 10 in scoring (114.5 ppg) and 3-point percentage (37.0%) while leading the NBA in field goal percentage (49.0%) and ranking in the top 5 in Offensive Rating (112.9), Net Rating (9.4), Effective Field Goal percentage (55.2%) and True Shooting percentage (58.2%). In short, they're really potent on offense.
That was on display Sunday against the Wolves. Their 142 points were the most the Lakers have scored in a regulation game since 1989. In addition, the Lakers have scored 278 points over their last two games, which are the most points scored in consecutive games since 1989 (when the Lakers had 281 points over two games).
4. Not to be outdone in all this is the performance of James himself. He had 32 points, four rebounds and 13 assists en route to helping he and Davis become the first teammates to have 50-plus points, 30-plus points and 10-plus assists in the same game.
It may irk Lakers fans, of course, but the last time that happened it was a pair of Celtics legends who did it. On March 3, 1985, Kevin McHale had 56 points and Larry Bird had 30 points and 10 assists (and 15 rebounds) in a 138-129 win against the Detroit Pistons.
5. Per ESPN Stats and Information, the 82 points James and Davis combined for was the most by a Lakers tandem since Feb. 2, 2009. Back then, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol dropped a combined 92 points on the Knicks (Bryant had 61, while Gasol had 31 and 14 rebounds). They are also the first duo to combine for 70-plus points in consecutive games since Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal did so in March of 2003.
Additionally, Davis' 50-point game came in his 23rd career game with the Lakers. Per Elias Sports, only LeBron James (16 games) and Cedric Ceballos (22nd) needed fewer games to reach the 50-point mark in L.A.
(And, ironically enough, Ceballos' 50-point game came on Dec. 20, 1994 against -- you guessed it -- Minnesota).
LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 82 points in last night’s win against the Timberwolves.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2019
That’s the most by a Lakers duo since Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol combined for 92 points on Feb. 2, 2009. pic.twitter.com/AZR6ugqaek
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the first pair of Lakers teammates to combine for 70+ points in consecutive games since Kobe and Shaq in March 2003.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 9, 2019
Anthony Davis’ first 50-point game with the Lakers comes in his 23rd game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2019
Per @EliasSports, only LeBron James (16th) and Cedric Ceballos (22nd) needed fewer games before their first 50-point game with the Lakers. pic.twitter.com/6ZNn8708CA
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Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.