In a night of NBA action that veered from the script, Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, battling a persistent hip injury, stood firm in not attributing his subpar performance to his physical woes. Riding high on a three-game winning streak, the Lakers faltered against the Sacramento Kings, succumbing to a 125-110 defeat.
Davis, known for his on-court prowess, had a tranquil night, tying a season-low with just nine points on 3-of-9 shooting. "I just played bad," Davis admitted postgame, refusing to lay blame on his nagging left hip injury, which flared up in the first half.
"It was just missed shots. I just played like s--- tonight. It's that simple," he said, candidly. His struggles weren't solitary as the Lakers, usually a cohesive unit, seemed disjointed. They committed a staggering 23 turnovers, which the Kings capitalized on, scoring 30 points.
Davis himself had five turnovers. This lack of synergy proved costly, with L.A. trailing by as much as 26 points during the game.
Kings Trio Dominates
The Kings' victory was spearheaded by stellar performances from Domantas Sabonis, De'Aaron Fox, and Kevin Huerter, who collectively outmaneuvered the Lakers’ defense.
Sabonis' impressive stats included 29 points and 16 rebounds, while Fox and Huerter added 28 points each. For Davis, this downturn in performance was a stark contrast to his dynamic showing against the Memphis Grizzlies just a day earlier, where he notched 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 blocks.
The rapid succession of games, with the Kings’ match being part of a back-to-back, limited his recovery time and treatment options. Davis, however, remained resolute: "I'm still treating it every day," he said. "I suit up, I will play.
I got to be more effective." The Lakers, down by 23 points entering the fourth quarter, showed a late resurgence, cutting the deficit to nine. Coach Darvin Ham’s strategy shift to a zone defense briefly stymied the Kings, but it wasn't enough to overturn the game's outcome.
LeBron James' historic night, where he became the second-oldest player to record a triple-double and moved up the all-time lists for triple-doubles and three-pointers, was overshadowed by the loss. With a demanding schedule ahead, James emphasized the need to learn and move on from such setbacks quickly.
As the Lakers prepare to face the Portland Trail Blazers, Davis reassured everyone of his participation despite the discomfort: "I'll be fine. Yeah, I'll play. For sure," he stated, showcasing his commitment to the team amidst adversity.
This resilience will be crucial as the Lakers navigate a challenging season, aiming to blend individual brilliance with collective success.