Anthony Davis
(Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Anthony Davis Dominates in Lakers' Game 2 Victory

by Taylor Geas

Game two gave us a new lens to look through for this Lakers-Blazers series as the Lakers came out victorious, 111-88.

All year long, this Lakers team has been recognized for their inherent team chemistry; and that’s the team we saw tonight. Their style was catch-and-go for 48 minutes as each player trusted the other to get the job done.

Now, a deliberate defense and unforgiving offense are dictated by leadership. And the Lakers have two consistent leaders that take the job very seriously.

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Kings lead by example

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LeBron James (10 pts, 7 ast, 6 reb) had more of a reserved night (in LeBron standards). The King kept the tempo which allowed his teammates to step in and step up. Specifically, LBJ’s gift of drawing doubles exposed the Blazers defense. LeBron in the post is arguably the most effective play in basketball because teams are forced to double team the best passer in the league and inevitably, they must give something else up.

Enter Anthony Davis (31 pts, 11 reb). After a bit of an off performance from Davis in game one, LeBron shifted his teammate’s perspective. AD says, “He was there for me to encourage me and keep me level-headed because it was just one game.” And in this game, AD took no prisoners in the trenches. Absolutely vicious in the paint, the Brow became the first Lakers player to throw down more than 30 points and lock in 10 rebounds in less than 30 minutes. And his teammates matched his energy.

JaVale McGee (10 pts, 8 reb) set the tone early and often. With each minute played, his presence was felt as he both fought hard for defensive rebounds and was a moving target on offense.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (16 pts) was a warrior out there tonight. His perimeter defense was crucial to the Lakers’ success as he helped hold Damian Lillard (18 pts) and CJ McCollum (13 pts) to 1-of-7 and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. After facing criticism for inconsistent shooting, KCP went 4-for-6 from deep. As Coach Frank Vogel put it before the game, “You just tell guys who are slumping to stay the course, continue to mind shot selection, and trust the law of averages.”

It couldn’t be better said by Frank: stay the course. As the Lakers collectively struggled from three throughout their stay in the Bubble, and specifically in game one, tonight they set a team playoff record with 14-made threes.

This Thursday, we saw a familiar team that we’ve missed since arriving in Orlando; a team that played with passion, emotion, and most importantly, execution. Eight years ago was the last Lakers playoff win. Los Angeles, the drought is over — the series is tied 1-1. We’ll see you Saturday.

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