The Los Angeles Lakers edged out the Toronto Raptors 132-131 last night in a thrilling matchup led by Anthony Davis’s season-high 41 points. Davis came through in the clutch for the Lakers, who were coming off a tough stretch of losses.
Davis Dominates in Career Night
Davis was the clear standout player of the game, shooting an efficient 15-21 from the field along with 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. As this article analysis shows, Davis earned an A+ grade for his tremendous all-around impact:
Anthony Davis: A+
41 points (15-21 FG, 2-2 3P), 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 1 turnover, +15
Davis scored from all levels, nailing midrange jumpers, attacking the rim and even stepping out to hit two 3-pointers. He was aggressive looking for his shot but also crashed the boards hard, cleaning up misses with putbacks.
His emphatic dunk with just over a minute left, assisted by Russell Westbrook, sealed the win and brought Lakers fans to their feet. Davis has been criticized at times for not taking over games, but last night he put the team on his back.
Anthony Davis last 2 games:
As the tweet above shows, this performance builds on his 42-point outburst against the Hawks. After injury issues in recent years, Davis seems to be healthy and playing some of the best basketball of his career.
Back and Forth Battle Goes Down to the Wire
The game remained close throughout, with 18 lead changes and 12 ties. The Raptors led by as many as 11 in the first half, but the Lakers battled back behind Davis and James, who finished with 31 points and 9 assists.
Late in the fourth quarter, a Pascal Siakam slam tied the game at 131 with just 35 seconds remaining. Out of a timeout, James found Davis rolling towards the rim for the decisive alley-oop. Toronto still had a chance to tie or win on their final possession, but Scottie Barnes missed a contested layup, allowing LA to escape with the 1 point win.
Other contributors for the Lakers included Austin Reaves with 16 points and Lonnie Walker IV with 15. For Toronto, Siakam led the way with 32 points while Barnes and Fred VanVleet scored 26 apiece. Newly acquired guard Dejounte Murray made his Raptors debut after being traded from Atlanta, posting 8 points and 4 assists in 22 minutes.
What This Means Moving Forward
This thrilling victory snaps a 3 game losing streak for the Lakers, bringing their record to 20-21 on the season. It seems they may finally be figuring things out after struggling early on with incorporating new pieces like Patrick Beverly and Thomas Bryant. Per this analysis, they match up better against Toronto’s smaller lineups compared to San Antonio who beat them recently behind size from players like Jakob Poeltl.
The Lakers will look to string a few wins together on their upcoming 3 game road trip against Portland, Sacramento and Phoenix. Getting Davis and James to play at this level consistently will be key if they want to rise up the Western Conference standings. At just 2 games back of 6th place, LA is still within striking distance for a top playoff seed.
Meanwhile for Toronto, this loss was likely disheartening after their blockbuster trade to get Murray as a new running mate for Siakam and Barnes. There were positive signs though as all three had big scoring nights. Per this analysis, coach Nick Nurse will need to figure out the best rotations to maximize the new Big 3. If they can mesh quickly, Toronto could make noise in the East playoffs.
No matter what happens the rest of the way, last night’s matchup gave fans an entertaining preview of what could be a fun NBA Finals match down the line between these two offensive powerhouses. Davis and the Lakers got the upper hand this time, but Siakam and the Raptors will look to even the score next time.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.