On May 2nd, 2023, the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Lakers were without LeBron James due to injury, but they had another superstar ready to step up: Anthony Davis.
And step up he did.
Davis put on a dominant performance, scoring 47 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, and blocking 3 shots. He was everywhere on the court, making clutch shots and playing suffocating defense. His efforts helped the Lakers secure a 119-106 victory, and Davis joined rare company in the process.
Lakers In NBA playoff history
There have been only 12 other players who have recorded at least 45 points, 15 rebryounds, and 3 blocks in a single game. The list includes legends like Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Tim Duncan. Now, Anthony Davis has added his name to that illustrious group.
What makes Davis’ accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that he did it without his usual running mate, LeBron James. With James sidelined, Davis had to shoulder even more of the offensive load, and he rose to the occasion. He shot 60% from the field, hit three three-pointers, and went a perfect 12-for-12 from the free-throw line.
But Davis’ impact wasn’t just felt on the offensive end. He also played a key role in shutting down Houston’s potent offense. The Rockets were held to just 41% shooting from the field and 28% from beyond the arc. Davis’ length and athleticism allowed him to contest shots and disrupt Houston’s pick-and-roll game.
Of course, Davis didn’t do it alone. The Lakers got solid contributions from their supporting cast, with players like Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder, and Montrezl Harrell all chipping in. But it was Davis who led the way, setting the tone from the opening tip and never letting up.
After the game, Davis was understandably pleased with his performance, but he was also quick to credit his teammates. “They were finding me in my spots, getting me the ball where I like it,” he said. “And then defensively, we were just on a string. Everybody was talking, everybody was locked in.”
The Lakers will need more of the same from Davis if they hope to advance to the Western Conference Finals. James’ status for the rest of the series is uncertain, so Davis will likely have to continue carrying a heavy load on both ends of the court. But if Game 1 is any indication, he’s more than up to the task.
In conclusion, Anthony Davis’ performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals was truly remarkable. By recording 47 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 blocks, he joined a rarefied group of NBA legends. But more than that, he showed that he can be the go-to guy for the Lakers, even without LeBron James. If he can maintain this level of play, the Lakers could be headed for another championship