There’s the promise — Anthony Davis swishing top-of-the-key jumpers, corralling each rebound and disrupting opposing offenses in each method.
However there’s additionally the issue — Davis awkwardly getting his left arm tangled round Devin Booker’s head and hitting the courtroom, needing a timeout to make his method again to his toes and to the Lakers’ bench.
Tuesday evening in Phoenix, Davis was capable of keep within the recreation, grabbing at his left elbow and repeatedly attempting to squeeze feeling into his left hand.
It was a reminder of the gamble the Lakers took greater than three years in the past once they dealt the long run for Davis — a guess that’s paid off with an NBA championship and offset with too many moments such because the one within the first half Tuesday towards the Suns.
Davis alone wasn’t sufficient in a 115-105 loss to the Suns, the Lakers ice chilly from three and once more enjoying with out LeBron James. However Davis nonetheless was loads — 37 factors, 21 rebounds, 5 blocks and 5 steals — persevering with a run of possibly his finest play because the Lakers dealt for him.
Tuesday, Davis grew to become the primary participant in NBA historical past to attain a minimum of 35 factors, seize 20 rebounds, have 5 blocks and 5 steals because the league began recording blocks and steals.
“He’s one of a kind,” Russell Westbrook stated. “Always been that way, able to imprint his game in many ways.”
It was Davis’ fourth straight recreation with a minimum of 30 and his fifth straight double-double.
He was nice; the harm, even briefly, threatened that.
“I don’t know if I came down on his shoulder or something … just lost feeling in my arm, my fingers and my hand,” Davis stated. “… My left hand, didn’t really need it much tonight.
“They said I need to let the nerve calm down. I was like, ‘I don’t have the time to let the nerve calm down.’”
The sport appeared determined when Patrick Beverley made his impression actually felt as a Laker, operating into and shoving Deandre Ayton when Ayton was standing over Austin Reaves, who was down after getting hit within the face by Booker.
Beverley knocked over Ayton, tripping him over Reaves.
“We’ve got each other’s back,” Davis stated.
Booker was ultimately referred to as for a flagrant foul 1, Ayton for a technical foul and Beverley for a technical foul — with Beverley getting ejected for the primary time as a Laker.
Beverley stated he was unprofessional in his response and referred to as it a “very unfortunate” incident, however he didn’t like Ayton and Booker “mean-mugging” Reaves.
“I love it, personally,” Westbrook stated.
Incident apart, the Lakers didn’t get sufficient round Davis, with Beverley and Troy Brown Jr. — two of Darvin Ham’s starters — combining to overlook all seven of their pictures whereas scoring no factors. Beverley did seize 10 rebounds earlier than being kicked out of the sport.
The Lakers, who had been over 30% in every of their final six video games from three-point vary, had their worst capturing evening from deep in a month, making solely 4 of twenty-two (18.2%).
They survived within the recreation due to Davis, 24 factors from Lonnie Walker and 21 from Westbrook and since the workforce made 29 of 35 from the free-throw line.
The Lakers restricted the Suns to 5 free-throw makes an attempt.
The Lakers missed James for the fifth straight recreation since he was injured late in a loss to the Clippers. And although he might return when the Lakers play in San Antonio on Friday after Thanksgiving, Ham wasn’t committal.
“It’s been day to day,” Ham stated. “He’s been able to get in the weight room and continuing the strengthening process. But just day to day. I told him today, when we get to a place where we feel comfortable going out there, we’ll get there. The team, again, we have additional bodies back in Dennis [Schroder] and Thomas [Bryant], so that’s helped. And we’re in a good rhythm right now so there’s no rush. There’s no panic mode.”
When requested about James returning, Ham declined to say.
“Circumstances change,” Ham stated pregame. “Knock on wood … it is an NBA season and again, we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves in how we plan things out.”
Phoenix, which was with out Chris Paul, bought 25 factors from Booker and 25 from Mikal Bridges.