NBA

LeBron James hails Anthony Davis as a 'unicorn' after Lakers level series

By Sports Desk August 21, 2020

LeBron James hailed Anthony Davis as a "unicorn" who can do things his other team-mates cannot as the Los Angeles Lakers tied up their playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Superstar James put up just 10 points on a rare off-night as the Lakers made it 1-1 in their first-round meeting at the NBA's bubble in Orlando.

Davis was in inspired form, though, contributing 31 points and 11 rebounds in the 111-88 victory, leading to big praise from James.

"I've had some great team-mates in my career," James said.

"AD is one of those unicorns [a term in basketball to describe a player who is versatile and dynamic] and he does things what some of my other great team-mates are not capable of doing.

"Tonight, AD was magnificent."

Davis scored 28 points in the opening-game defeat but said he did not feel as though he performed to his best level.

A few choice words from James, a three-time NBA champion, encouraged Davis to see the bigger picture, though.

"I was really down on myself after Game 1," Davis said. "I didn't feel like I performed to the level I needed to. And he let me have my moment and kind of get on myself, and then he talked to me and said I was fine.

"He said it's one game, and as a guy who's won multiple championships and been in these situations before, he knows what to expect. He knew what to expect from his team-mates and he kind of just was there for me to kind of encourage me and keep me level-headed. Because it was just one game.

"Our relationship has been great the entire season. I've kind of just been leaning on him this entire season, just trying to figure out the tricks [of the] trade of playing with a guy like him and a team like this.

"He kind of has been there for me and supporting me and kind of guiding me through this entire process."

The win was the Lakers' first in a playoff game since May 18, 2012, and James says a tough season off the court has proven the mettle of the team.

James said: "I mean, it started from training camp, to preseason, traveling abroad, to entering the New Year, the tragic death obviously of Kobe [Bryant] and those victims on that helicopter, to the stop of the season, to players getting injured, [Rajon] Rondo going down for a big piece of the year, to the restart, not having our brother Avery Bradley here.

"And so on and so on. I don't even know, it just feels like it's been three or four different seasons [in one], so I know what we're capable of, I know how we're built."

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    He told reporters: "I think you know me. I think all of you guys know me. It's never been about individual.

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    Lakers star Anthony Davis declared "I suck right now" after he scored 18 points, took nine rebounds, laid on six assists and came up with two blocks.

    Yet James says his fellow All-Star is being too hard on himself.

    "He's continuing to grow every single game. Every single film session, we kind of break those things down - what he sees on the floor," James said.

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    The Lakers extended their franchise away record to eight consecutive wins on the road to start the season by topping the Milwaukee Bucks 113-106 on Thursday.

    LeBron James posted a season-high 34 points, while All-Star team-mate Davis had 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks for the Western Conference-leading Lakers (12-4).

    Davis, though, was far from pleased with his performance after shooting just eight-of-18 from the field and missing his only three-point attempt.

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    "I'm not making shots, I'm not making free throws. But I think tonight my aggressiveness, just being a poster and getting to the paint allowed guys to get open."

    David added: "My aggressiveness tonight. That's the only way I feel like I'm gonna get out of this funk or whatever that I'm in.

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    "I trust my team-mates. AC [Alex Caruso] hit one for me. Bron hit one and Kenny [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] hit one, and they're in the right spots where I want guys when I have the ball in the post," Davis continued.

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    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 23 points for the Western Conference-leading Lakers (12-4) in Milwaukee, where the Bucks (9-6) dropped back-to-back games.

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    Golden State's Eric Paschall scored his 1,000th career point in his 74th game, reaching the 1,000-point mark in the fewest amount of games played by a Warriors second round draft pick in the Modern Draft era (since 1966). Previously, Gilbert Arenas did so in 79 games.

    Donovan Mitchell's season-high 36 points fuelled the Utah Jazz's 129-118 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Mitchell was 11-of-19 shooting from the field, while he made six of eight three-point attempts. The Jazz have won seven straight games.

     

    Schroder struggles in Milwaukee

    Dennis Schroder failed to get going for the Lakers. The offseason recruit was just two of 10 from the field, while missing all three of his attempts from beyond the arc for four points in 33 minutes.

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    Steph with the behind-the-back pass

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    Thursday's results

    Los Angeles Lakers 113-106 Milwaukee Bucks
    Utah Jazz 129-118 New Orleans Pelicans
    New York Knicks 119-104 Golden State Warriors

     

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