LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel poured praise upon Anthony Davis after his 50-point display against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Davis reached 50 points in a game for the first time since joining the Lakers, leading the team to a 142-125 victory on Sunday.

With his star team-mate in such form, James suggested his role was fairly straightforward, with the four-time MVP contributing 13 assists to go with his 32 points.

"Just keep feeding him," James said of Davis. "He was efficient all night, getting the ball exactly where he wanted it - either near post, low post, perimeter.

"He can do it all, so it's our job to continue to give him the ball."

James is happy with how he and Davis are performing together, inspiring a 21-3 start to the season, but he was always confident the former New Orleans Pelicans star would be able to lead the Lakers.

"For me and AD, it starts with us," he said. "If we're on the same page, it makes it much easier for the rest of the ball club. That's both on and off the floor.

"We're just trying to lead by example, lead by our voices, lead by our play, and see where it takes us. It's been pretty good for us so far.

"[Davis] had to carry a franchise before, so I don't think it's anything that's foreign to him. The best thing about what it is today is that he has an opportunity to be great every night.

"No matter if he's making shots or not, it's just his presence alone. And us, as his team-mates, continue to make him comfortable. He's great. There's nothing more that you can say."

Davis was 20-for-29 from the field but did not need a single three-point shot to get to a half-century.

The 26-year-old also weighed in with seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block, leaving coach Vogel to marvel at his player.

"The first thing that sticks out to me was that he had four steals, a block and great defense all 39 minutes he was out there," Vogel said.

"To be able to perform on that end of the floor and anchor us and still go for 50 - with what I feel is an old-school smash-mouth way of getting 50: no threes, 20-for-29 and living at the free-throw line, post-ups, offensive rebounds, crashes, all those type of things - it's just an old-school performance.

"It's one for the ages."

Anthony Davis said it was "humbling" to join Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in producing a 50-point game for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Davis and the Lakers have been in outstanding form so far in the 2019-20 NBA season, and that continued on Sunday as the former New Orleans Pelicans star put up exactly 50 points in a 142-125 defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The names of Bryant and James - the only other Lakers to achieve this feat in the past decade - were put to the 26-year-old in the locker room after.

Davis replied: "It means a lot. There are some greats who came through here, so to be in a class with guys like that - especially so early in my career, my first year here - is humbling.

"I'm definitely excited to be in that class."

Davis had 27 points by halftime and revealed he was then encouraged to go for 50 by his team-mates.

"I've had nights where I started off like that and ended up with like 30, didn't score in the second half," he said. "But the shot was feeling good tonight. We were very well rested.

"Going against another great big man in Karl-Anthony Towns, obviously you get up for some of those games. They're a team who are hungry, trying to get wins, and when you start off pretty hot from the floor, you just want the ball.

"It kept going in most of the times and my team-mates kept giving me the ball. They were saying I could get 50 so, at that point, you try to get 50.

"[They said it at] half-time. At that point, I'm not saying it was on my mind, because I'm still trying to play the right way, but I was definitely ultra-aggressive."

The Lakers improved to 21-3, four games clear of rivals the Los Angeles Clippers at the top of the West, and Davis says they are "in a rhythm".

"I feel like I'm in a rhythm," he said. "You've got to find your rhythm, and I feel, as a team, we've found our rhythm - that's how we're able to put up so many points.

"Obviously our defence has been really good and leads to a lot of open shots for us. Guys are able to see the ball go in the basket early, which helps us later in the game.

"I think the way that we approach the game now, knowing we've found our rhythm offensively, the whole team is playing at a high level."

LeBron James joked he is considering sneezing on Anthony Davis after his Los Angeles Lakers team-mate produced another outstanding performance in their win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Davis, who joined the Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster trade in June, followed up 25 and 26-point performances in road wins against the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz with a 39-point showing as Los Angeles claimed a 136-113 victory in Portland.

The 2012 first overall pick's displays have been made all the more impressive by the fact he has produced such incredible form while battling an illness.

Speaking after their win at the Moda Center, James said of Davis: "You see what he did on this road trip being sick? And he is starting to feel a lot better and I don't quite like it. I might sneeze on him a couple of times."

The Lakers are in command at the top of the Western Conference having lost just three of their 23 games this season.

"We have our mind set on something special. In order to reach that goal we have to stay in the moment and go game by game," Davis added.

"We take every game personal. We want to go out there and be the best team."

For the 9-14 Blazers, the game was marred by an injury to Rodney Hood, who suffered a torn Achilles in the first quarter.

"You hate to see one of your team-mates go down to an injury like that, especially a starter, and somebody who is really a good person and having a great season, fitting in really well with our team, and a big part of what we do," Blazers star Damian Lillard said. 

"You just feel for him personally more than anything."

 

LeBron James hailed a "monster game" from Anthony Davis, who battled through illness to help the Los Angeles Lakers return to winning ways at the Denver Nuggets.

Davis required intravenous fluids at half-time of Tuesday's 105-96 road victory after being one of several Lakers players to suffer from flu-like symptoms.

The 26-year-old put on a fine all-round display, though, contributing 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers recovered from their loss to the Dallas Mavericks last time out.

James said Davis' contribution was just par for the course since he joined the Lakers in the offseason.

"He's been doing it all year," said James, who himself contributed 25 points, six rebounds and nine assists. "Playing through injuries, playing through illness like he did tonight. 

"[He's the] Defensive Player of the Year, and he showed tonight once again playing one-on-one versus 'Joker' [Nikola Jokic] in the post. 

"When there were switches, going on with Jamal Murray. He got stop after stop after stop. It was just a monster game for him."

For his part, Davis insists his illness had no bearing on the way he tried to play.

"I just tried to fight and do whatever I can to help the team win. I felt like I could give it a go, and I was able to contribute as much as I can and get the win," Davis said.

"[The sickness] didn't factor in. I was trying just to make the right play. Not trying to force anything. I think the shots that I had were good shots. But I was kind of overthinking it a little bit. 

"Not because of illness, but the way they were playing me. And then just trying to be aggressive in the second through fourth quarters. Just trying to get my team going, get them some looks and get myself some looks. 

"So, the illness didn't really play a big part that I thought it would, especially playing in Denver in the altitude."

Lakers coach Frank Vogel described Davis' performance as "something special".

"He just felt lousy the last two days. He comes in and has a Defensive Player of the Year type of performance," he said.

"He's guarding their two best players, Jokic, single coverage, everybody's staying home and Jamal Murray taking him to the basket and he's making defensive play after defensive play.

"And he was outstanding. For him to play through illness and have that kind of performance was something special."

Anthony Davis vowed the Los Angeles Lakers would not lose two straight NBA games after their run of 10 consecutive wins came to an emphatic halt on Sunday.

The Dallas Mavericks won 114-100 at Staples Center on the back of 27 points from in-form Luka Doncic.

That led Davis to describe the Lakers' defense as "terrible" but he joined LeBron James in adopting the mindset that the Lakers (17-3) would not allow themselves to drop two in a row for the rest of the season.

The loss to the Mavs (13-6) comes ahead of a difficult trip to face the Denver Nuggets (13-4), who hold an 8-2 record at home court, with other testing games road games against the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers to follow later this week.

The Lakers were dominated 16-9 in offensive rebounds against Dallas, much to the frustration of Davis.

"Our whole thing is we don't want to lose two in a row – ever," said Davis, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds, per ESPN.

"Our defense was terrible. We didn't rebound the basketball therefore we keep giving them second-chance points and they made us pay with threes.

"We know what we did wrong. It's one game. We beat ourselves with the rebounding and we need to do better."

Of the goal to go the rest of 2019-20 without losing back-to-back games, James said: "You don't know until you [strive for it].

"Realistic is the mindset. It's not about [accepting that] sometimes you lose games in a row. Just having that mindset and that approach."

Coach Frank Vogel acknowledged his team's challenge against the Nuggets on Tuesday would be greater than the one they faced against the Mavs.

"That's part of growing together, how you respond to losses," he said. "Playing in Denver is always tough. As well as they are playing this year, it's going to be even tougher. 

"I believe in our guys. If we play to our abilities, there's nobody we can't beat and nowhere we can't get a W."

As for Doncic, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle marvelled at a display that included 10 assists, nine rebounds and three steals, while the 20-year-old went 4-for-10 from three-point range.

"He hit a couple of hellacious shots," Carlisle said of Doncic. "There's just a small handful of guys in the whole world that can hit them. LeBron James is one of them. He's one of them. 

"Those step-back 30-footers, it's hard to describe how difficult the shot is, and how easy he makes it look."

LeBron James called for improvement after the Los Angeles Lakers saw their winning streak abruptly halted by the Dallas Mavericks.

Riding a 10-game winning run, the NBA-leading Lakers went down 114-100 to the Mavericks in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Despite Anthony Davis' double-double (27 points, 10 rebounds) and James' 25 points, the Lakers (17-3) fell to their third defeat of the season.

Reflecting on the loss, Lakers superstar James told reporters: "They pushed the tempo a lot more. They played with a better pace than us.

"A couple of calls when against us, which kind of changed the momentum of the game."

"We can play better," James added. "We obviously know they've played extremely well, especially on the road.

"We knew they wanted some get-back after we beat them on their floor, and they us on ours.

"They're a very good team. Very well coached. We just learn from our mistakes and the good things too."

Davis remained upbeat afterwards, saying: "It's one game. We're not going to get down over this loss. We know what type of team we are, we know now.

"We played well. And they beat us, but we beat ourselves with the rebounding, so we know what we've got to do better."

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic revelled in the Mavericks' win after scoring 21 of his 27 points in the second half.

"It's a great win that means a lot to us," Doncic said. "It shows that we can play against big teams, too. We just need to keep it rolling."

The Los Angeles Lakers will enter December with the NBA's best record, a fact that does not shock Anthony Davis.

Frank Vogel's team won a 10th straight game against the Washington Wizards on Friday to improve to 17-2, equalling the franchise's best record through 19 games.

The Lakers did not make the postseason in LeBron James' first season in Los Angeles, but the acquisition of center Davis ahead of this campaign has helped transform the team.

Asked what he would think if he had been told the Lakers would start 17-2, Davis replied: "I wouldn't have been surprised.

"We know the type of team we have. And when we defend, we can beat anybody, and we have a lot of veterans.

"So when we're down, we're able to fight back and have the confidence in our schemes."

Neither Davis nor James were needed in the fourth quarter as the Lakers eased to a 125-103 win over the Wizards.

They finished November with a 14-1 record but there are trickier games coming up on their schedule, including a clash with the Dallas Mavericks and the in-form Luka Doncic on Sunday.

"We have championship aspirations, but at the end of the day, that's not what's here right now," James added.

"What's right now is our next opponent, and that's Dallas and they're very good.

"We want to continue to get better and better and have championship mindset every time we step on the floor."

Anthony Davis came back to haunt his former team as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 114-110 over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Back in New Orleans for the first time since his blockbuster trade to the Lakers ahead of the 2019-20 NBA campaign, Davis posted a season-high 41 points on Wednesday.

Davis – who was selected by the Pelicans with pick one in the 2012 Draft – overcame an elbow problem in the final quarter to lead the Lakers (16-2) to their ninth successive win.

LeBron James finished with 29 points and 11 assists, while Jrue Holiday (29 points, 12 assists) top scored for the Pelicans (6-12).

Kemba Walker returned from a neck sprain to help the Boston Celtics top the Brooklyn Nets 121-110.

In Walker's first game back after leaving last week's loss to the Denver Nuggets with his neck in a brace, Walker posted a season-high 39 points in Boston.

"I've been over it. I could have played last game, honestly," Walker said. "If I'm on the court, I'm on the court. I wasn't thinking about anything [but] wanting to win."

The Nets were without former Celtics guard Kyrie Irving for the seventh consecutive game due to shoulder soreness.

 

Embiid bounces back from horror show

After finishing scoreless against the Toronto Raptors last time out, Joel Embiid put up 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Sacramento Kings 97-91. The result preserved Philadelphia's perfect home record at 8-0.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his 18th consecutive double-double as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to nine games with a 111-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The reigning MVP posted 30 points and 10 rebounds.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 61 points in the Houston Rockets' 117-108 win against the Miami Heat. Harden scored 34 and Westbrook contributed 27 as the Rockets snapped a three-game skid.

It was a franchise-record night for the Toronto Raptors. The defending champions eased past the lowly New York Knicks 126-98 for their eighth straight home win to begin the season.

 

Oh no for O'Neale

It was a tough 27 minutes for Royce O'Neale. The 26-year-old did not score a point, going 0 for four from the floor and 0 of three from beyond the arc. His Utah Jazz lost 121-102 to the Indiana Pacers.

Coby White managed just two points in the Chicago Bulls' 104-90 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. White was 0 of seven from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts.

 

Harrell ensures Clippers stay hot

Montrezl Harrell's tip-in with 2.3 seconds remaining gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 121-119 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and a seventh straight win.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 121-102 Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics 121-110 Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers 97-91 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 102-101 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 126-98 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 111-102 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 121-119 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 117-108 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 136-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers 114-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors 104-90 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 140-132 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 113-101 San Antonio Spurs

 

Clippers at Spurs

After the Thanksgiving break, the in-form Clippers will head to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday. It will be another Spurs reunion for Leonard, who left Gregg Popovich's team for the Raptors ahead of the 2018-19 season before landing in Los Angeles. San Antonio have only won one of their past 11 games.

Anthony Davis may have had a bitter divorce from the New Orleans Pelicans, but he will still have "mixed emotions" when he returns with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

Six-time All-Star Davis moved to Los Angeles to link up with LeBron James in a blockbuster trade during the offseason, having made no secret of his desire to depart New Orleans.

Davis, the number one overall draft pick in 2012, revealed he spoke to James about his own initial exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat and said he is still fond of the Louisiana city.

"I talked to LeBron," Davis told Stadium. "I said, 'When you went to Miami, first off, how were you when you left Cleveland? Obviously you left willingly, I had to ask for a trade, but what were your emotions?'

"He was like, 'Man, I was scared'. And that was the same thing with me. I'd been so accustomed to being in New Orleans.

"I love that city, I have so many friends there, family. New Orleans is a part of me.

"It was tough for me to walk away from that. So when I go back, I'm going to have mixed emotions because a great six and a half years and then that last half [a year]...

"I know the fans are going to boo me, I got booed when I was still playing there."

Davis said he had no regrets about the way he handled his departure from New Orleans.

However, he wishes he had not sworn at a Pelicans fan who shouted abuse in his direction during a loss to the Charlotte Hornets in April.

"The fan just hit me with something [verbally]," Davis added.

"It was all that emotion boiled up into one. It just happened. That's one thing I do regret about flipping the fan off.

"But the way I handled the process... no [regrets]."

Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel hailed Anthony Davis and claimed "there is no-one like him in the NBA" after the power forward inspired his side to a 130-127 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Davis poured in 33 points and claimed 11 rebounds as the Lakers extended their winning streak to six games.

LeBron James played a typically key role with 23 points but it was Davis that caught Vogel's eye.

He said: "There's no-one like him in the NBA. That's how unique it is.

"And the amount of the ways he impacts the game, both at the basket and shooting the three-ball - four threes, two four-point plays tonight - and elite defence all over the place. It's something special."

Davis was four-for-seven from three-point range, after going three-for-five from similar distance on Tuesday. Prior to that he was just eight-for-32 from beyond the arc and he credits the turnaround to a more instinctive approach.

"Coach told me to stop hesitating." Davis said. "When I hesitate, I'm going to come up short or [have] a bad miss. I feel like if I'm open I'm going to shoot it. No hesitation. And seems to go in a lot more when I'm not hesitating."

James added: "We want him to take more threes.

"Teams are playing off of him, and he's too damn good of a shooter not to shoot them. And he's been doing that the last couple games."

Anthony Davis is not willing to follow in the footsteps of Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard and sit out games as the Los Angeles Lakers big man prepares for his return.

Davis sat out Wednesday's win over the lowly Golden State Warriors due to shoulder and rib soreness, but the Lakers star is set to face the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Much has been made about load management this season, with Leonard missing three games already in 2019-20 following his absence from the Clippers' loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.

While the Lakers improved to 9-2 without Davis midweek, the star recruit has no plans for more rest.

"What, like, load management? No," Davis said on Friday. "Obviously, it's great [to win].

"If something comes up where somebody has to sit out, then fine, but I don't think anyone on this team is probably going to sit out."

He added: "Went through shootaround today. Felt good."

Davis had strapping on his right shoulder prior to the start of Tuesday's 123-115 victory over the Phoenix Suns and had tape on his ribs by the end of the match at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The six-time NBA All-Star played on after a blow to the ribs in the first quarter, before heading to the locker room to get taped up ahead of the final period.

X-rays taken after the game came back negative and Davis was re-evaluated again prior to being ruled out of the Warriors showdown.

"Not really much you can do but just let it heal," Davis told reporters. "I want to play. But obviously saying that, the training staff will probably be more reluctant to [let me play].

"If it's still bothering me a little bit, [they'll] have me sit out. Or if it's feeling good, I'm going to play ... Just to know that the way the team played when I sat out, I don't have to be in a rush to get back."

Davis has hit the ground running since arriving from the Pelicans in a blockbuster trade, averaging 26.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists with the Lakers this season.

"It's super tough," Davis said. "It's a long season. It's early in the season. You don't want to continue to play through something and then it gets worse. So it's always sitting in the back of your head. But at the same time, you want to play.

"So you've got to listen to your body, be honest with the training staff and try to do what you can. Kind of do what's best for the betterment of the team."

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis has been ruled out of the NBA clash with the Golden State Warriors.

Davis has been dealing with shoulder and rib soreness, meaning he will sit out Wednesday's game against the Warriors.

Kyle Kuzma will start in place of Davis, who is expected to return for the Lakers (8-2) against the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

Davis had strapping on his right shoulder prior to the start of Tuesday's 123-115 victory over the Phoenix Suns and had tape on his ribs by the end of the match at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The six-time NBA All-Star played on after a blow to the ribs in the first quarter, before heading to the locker room to get taped up ahead of the final period.

X-rays taken after the game came back negative and Davis was re-evaluated again prior to the midweek showdown with the struggling Warriors (2-9).

Davis has hit the ground running since arriving from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster trade, averaging 26.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists with the Lakers this season.

Meanwhile, the Lakers will also be without guard Rajon Rondo due to a mild right calf strain.

LeBron James held up the "grit" Anthony Davis is showing by playing through injuries as an example for every member of the Los Angeles Lakers to follow.

Davis had strapping on his right shoulder prior to the start of a 123-115 win over the Phoenix Suns and had tape on his ribs by the end of the match at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday.

The six-time NBA All-Star played on after a blow to the ribs in the first quarter, before heading to the locker room to get taped up ahead of the final period.

X-rays taken after the game came back negative and Davis will be evaluated again ahead of Wednesday's game against the Golden State Warriors.

"He wants to play. He wants to play, and we just have to pick it up," James said of Davis, who has been playing through a shoulder issue.

"For him, when he's showing that grit when he's playing with injuries, there's no reason for any of us not to be out there as well. He's been showing everything."

Davis returned to the game with eight minutes, 41 seconds remaining and finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers bounced back from a 113-104 defeat to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

"I took a shot – not sure on what play or when it was – and I just wanted to get it taped up, wrapped up," said Davis.

"It was kinda bothering me a little bit so I just got it taped up, wrapped up to keep it secure or whatever. I just decided to get back on the floor as soon as possible.

"I just want to play. Like I said, it's tough for me to lead from the sideline.

"The more I can be on the floor to help this team win, that's what I try to do. I know what our goal is, I know what we're trying to do. So the more I can try to stay on the floor, the more steps we move toward our goal."

Asked if he will be able to play against the Warriors, Davis added: "We'll see how the shoulder and the ribs feel tomorrow when I get up and we'll go from there."

LeBron James posted a triple-double as the in-form Los Angeles Lakers topped the San Antonio Spurs 103-96 in NBA action on Sunday.

James record his second successive triple-double courtesy of 21 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their fifth consecutive victory.

Star team-mate Anthony Davis chipped in with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Dwight Howard had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers – who improved to 5-1.

The Spurs were led by Dejounte Murray's 18 points and 11 rebounds in An Antonio, where Rudy Gay added 16 points off the bench.

Kawhi Leonard put up 30 points as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the visiting Utah Jazz 105-94 – the home team using a 40-point final quarter to get the win.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler impressed in the Miami Heat's 129-100 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Butler had 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals for the Heat, who raced out to a 46-14 lead after the opening quarter and never looked back to register a third straight win.

James Harden scored 29 points for Houston, while Russell Westbrook was held to just 10 on three-of-11 shooting.

 

Doncic fuels Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic scored 29 and added 15 assists and 14 rebounds — his second straight triple-double — to key a 131-111 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Porter has game to forget

Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. hit one of 10 shots in a 108-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

 

Windmill!

De'Aaron Fox stole the ball and had plenty of time to plan the perfect dunk for the Sacramento Kings, who beat the New York Knicks 113-92.

 

Sunday's results

Indiana Pacers 108-95 Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat 129-100 Houston Rockets
Sacramento Kings 113-92 New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers 103-96 San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks 131-111 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers 105-94 Utah Jazz

 

76ers at Suns

The Phoenix Suns have been a minor surprise, winning their last two despite the suspension of center Deandre Ayton. The Philadelphia 76ers are still perfect, but have had a couple of close calls against the Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers.

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