NBA

It's a Mamba shot – Lakers coach Vogel hails Davis' game-winner

By Sports Desk September 21, 2020

Anthony Davis' game-winner for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets was a "Mamba shot", head coach Frank Vogel said.

Davis delivered an incredible buzzer-beating three to lift the Lakers to a 105-103 victory over the Nuggets on Sunday as they moved into a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Vogel said the Lakers wanted to honour the late Kobe Bryant, the NBA great who died in a helicopter crash in January.

And the Lakers coach believes Davis' game-winner was the type of shot five-time NBA champion and former MVP Bryant would have produced.

"Well, we want to embody what Kobe Bryant stood for and honour his memory," he told reporters.

"Obviously, there are certain games where we are going to feel it a little bit more than others. When we have that uniform on, I think we feel it more than others.

"That's a shot Kobe Bryant would hit. To me, AD coming off just flying to the wing like that, catch-and-shoot with the biggest game on the line of our season, nothing but net, it's a Mamba shot."

While the Nuggets rallied in Game 2, Davis (31 points and nine rebounds) and LeBron James (26 points and 11 rebounds) led the Lakers to victory.

Vogel was full of praise for Davis and James as the Lakers close in on a first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.

"I keep saying, he [Davis] is a big-time player. He really carried us through a stretch where we were struggling to score late in the third," Vogel said.

"The combo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis is just – if one of them is not going, the other one is. There was a little bit of that tonight.

"When they're both going at the same time, we're near impossible to stop. Those guys both carried each other throughout the game and obviously a big part of the win."

Game 3 between the Lakers and Nuggets is on Tuesday.

Related items

  • Harden revels in historic debut as Nets coach Nash hails 'incredible' star Harden revels in historic debut as Nets coach Nash hails 'incredible' star

    Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden revelled in his record-setting debut, while head coach Steve Nash heaped praise on the former NBA MVP.

    Harden became the first player in NBA history to post a 30-point triple-double in his bow for a new team after the Nets outlasted the Orlando Magic 122-115 on Saturday.

    Eight-time All-Star Harden swapped the Houston Rockets for the Nets in a blockbuster trade on Thursday, and his first game in a Brooklyn jersey resulted in 32 points, a franchise-record 14 assists, 12 rebounds and four steals.

    Afterwards, Harden said: "It felt really good [to get the win]. The guys got after it.

    "Individually, I've got to stop turning the basketball over, but that comes with chemistry, that comes with practice, that comes with watching film.

    "So, first game I'm glad to get a win and we've just got to keep going."

    On the record, Harden was asked what it meant, and he told YES: "Nothing, I'm just happy we came away with the win. Those stats don't mean anything."

    "When you're paying with really, really good players, it's pretty easy," Harden said. "For me, I just gotta learn reads, learn where guys like the ball, just learn our personnel individually so once I get that, the turnovers will cut down, I can be more efficient."

    Disgruntled in Houston as he eyed an exit from the Rockets, Harden arrived in Brooklyn out of form, but the sharpshooter showed what the Nets are getting in a super team that also consists of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

    Harden was eight-of-18 from the field and three-of-10 shooting from three-point range in 40 minutes, while he also had nine turnovers.

    First-year coach Nash, who now leads a genuine championship contender, hailed Harden post-game.

    "I can't say I'm surprised," Nash said. "We had a pretty big simple size of him doing that [for] however many years in he's been in the league. But it's still not easy. He's still not in his best condition yet, he's joined a new group.

    "Basically no practice time, and figured it out on the fly. He had a bunch of turnovers just because he's new to the team and the group and you’re thrown out there in an NBA where the other team is an excellent coached-basketball team....But all the things he did on the floor were incredible for his first game."

    Reuniting with former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate Harden, Durant led the way with a game-high 42 points as the Nets improved to 8-6 following a third consecutive win.

    Durant also made franchise history for most consecutive 25-plus point games with nine.

    "James, he played the same way he always played, to be honest," Durant said. "He played the same way he was playing in Houston, being a pass-first guard, trying to get guys good looks. He played the same way.

    "Coach put him at the point, I think that's his natural position, is point and combo guard. For him to get 14 assists, 12 rebounds for us at the point guard was key."

  • Harden makes NBA history on debut for Brooklyn Nets Harden makes NBA history on debut for Brooklyn Nets

    James Harden made NBA history in his first game for the Brooklyn Nets, who held on beat to the Orlando Magic 122-115.

    Harden landed in Brooklyn on Thursday to join fellow All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving following a blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets.

    Former MVP Harden did not disappoint on debut for the Nets on Saturday after becoming the first player in NBA history to post a 30-point triple-double in his bow for a new team.

    Harden – an eight-time All-Star – finished with 32 points, a franchise-record 14 assists, 12 rebounds and four steals for championship contenders the Nets.

    Durant, who has reunited with former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mate Harden, led the way with a game-high 42 points as the Nets improved to 8-6 following a third consecutive win.

    Two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP Durant also made franchise history for most consecutive 25-plus point games with nine.

  • LeBron James feeling 'real good with my shot' as Lakers win five straight LeBron James feeling 'real good with my shot' as Lakers win five straight

    LeBron James says he is shooting with confidence after the Los Angeles Lakers won a fifth straight game.

    The Lakers moved to 11-3 on the season with a 112-95 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

    James had 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in 31 minutes on court for the NBA champions, with Anthony Davis adding 17 points against his former team.

    Four three-pointers from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope helped him to 16 points, the same total as Montrezl Harrell as the Lakers stormed back from an early 15-point deficit.

    "We just settled in," James said, per ESPN, as the Lakers returned to Staples Center after three games on the road.
     
    "That first game after a road trip is always kind of difficult, but we got some stops and got back to playing our kind of basketball." 

    The Lakers went 15-for-37 from deep as they continue to impress with their three-point shooting, which was third-best in the league coming into the game.

    While James was 2-for-6 against the Pelicans, he is currently on pace for the second-best three-point shooting rate (38.2 per cent) of his long career.

    Lakers coach Frank Vogel said this week he would probably rate James as the best shooter on the team, a status Davis would give to Caldwell-Pope.

    "I mean, we got a lot of great shooters on the team, man," James said when asked for his verdict on the debate.

    "KCP [Caldwell-Pope], a great shooter. Wes Matthews, great shooter. Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] can shoot the heck out of the ball. Dennis the Menace [Dennis Schroder] can shoot the ball. 

    "AD [Davis] can shoot the ball. So we got a lot of great knock-down shooters.

    "Obviously, if someone says, 'Bet,' then obviously you guys know, I'm going to take myself. That's just the competitive nature in me and the work ethic that I put into my shot. 

    "But I feel real good with my shot right now, both from the free throw line and also from the three-point line, and I want to continue that."

    The Pelicans slumped to 4-7 despite 21 points from Zion Williamson and 20 from Brandon Ingram. 

    Next up for James and the Lakers is a home game against the 6-6 Golden State Warriors on Monday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.