Anthony Davis
(Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

Davis delivers 50-point masterpiece as Lakers win again

by Rodrigo Azurmendi
Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES – “One for the ages.”

In front of a delirious crowd and within the walls of a building that has seen plenty of history, Anthony Davis delivered his finest performance as a Laker, dropping a 50-piece Sunday night against the Timberwolves.

Impossible as it is to imagine, AD is reaching yet another level on the court.

His dominance on the offensive end is starting to match his unparalleled effect on the defensive side of the ball, and Minnesota was equal parts witness and victim of an instant classic.

Davis joined Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as the only players donning the purple and gold to reach the 50 mark this decade. He also became the third fastest to achieve this feat in Lakers history (in his 23rd game) after LeBron James (16th) and Cedric Ceballos (22nd), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

“He can do it all,” James said.

The way he got it was even more impressive, especially in today’s NBA.

Davis went 20-for-29 from the field, and commanded the offense for big chunks of the game as LBJ dealt with some foul trouble.

Stylistically, this explosion felt different.

“An old-school, smash mouth way of getting 50, no threes,” as head coach Frank Vogel described it.

That’s right, Davis got 16 of his 20 field goals in the paint, and was a perfect 10/10 at the free throw line. He only attempted a pair of shots from beyond the arc, and missed both.

And if he kept the Lakers ahead when he was by himself, the times he shared on the court with James were pure dynamite.

AD and LBJ became the first pair of Lakers teammates to score 70+ in back-to-back games since Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal did it back in 2003.

Their chemistry has been there since training camp, as they say time and time again, but Sunday night was a different animal.

“It’s been fun,” Davis said. “When you have 2 players who are very selfless and want the best for the other player, it’s very easy. I’m looking for him, he’s looking for me, and we continue to learn each other and where we like to score the basketball.”

Those 2 were in their best behavior, but you don’t score a season-high 142 without some help from the rest of the squad.

This time it was Alex Caruso stepping up on offense – a key development in the absence of both Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo.

AC, who had a slow start to the season with his shot, scored 7 of his (season-high) 16 in the first quarter, making a pair of threes and adding four rebounds and four dimes.

This one in particular was a beauty:

The defense allowed 125 points and Vogel wasn’t exactly pleased about it, but when your team scores 70 in the paint and 32 fast break points, and finishes with 32 assists to just 11 turnovers, the outcome was probably sealed anyway.

The Lakers improved to 21-3 for their best start since the 2008-09 season.

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