This article was compiled from: The Athletic
Written by Jovan Buha
原标题：Anthony Davis guts through ankle injury to inspire the Lakers' best win this season
The Pelicans beat the Clippers and the Lakers fell to 8th in the West. However, their fate is still in their hands, and they are one win away from the Clippers, who are 6th in the West. Against the Rockets, Anthony Davis' state was listed as a high probability to play, and he himself also said early that he would definitely not miss this game.
In the final seconds of the Lakers' 123-111 victory over the Timberwolves, Davis walked straight to the player tunnel behind the visiting team's basket, and a large group of Lakers fans who poured into the center of the target stood up in unison.
About an hour ago, 6 minutes and 35 seconds before the end of the third quarter, these same fans watched the Lakers' fate of the season flash before their eyes. They saw Davis grab a defensive rebound, land at the feet of his teammates, and suddenly collapse to the ground, covering his left ankle with his hand, looking pained.
The timing of this injury could not have been worse. The Lakers' roster has finally recovered its health and is in stable form for the first time in the whole season, is it going to fall into the haze of long-term absence of the core?
Davis has wanted to rip off his injury label for years, and this time, he refused to quit the game.
1. Davis limped and scored 17 points in the final quarter
Davis stood up on his own and then immediately collapsed, he asked multiple teammates and coaches to help him get up, and during the Lakers' ensuing timeout, Davis limped back to the bench. At the end of the timeout, he mustered up the courage to overcome the discomfort, jumped a few times, tested his ankles, and then, before the game continued, he walked to the scoreboard and fastened the laces of his pink sneakers.
He didn't want to miss the match, even if it was a round.
In the time that followed, Davis was a little cautious and stumbled a little while running, and I am afraid no one expected that he would have exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points in a single quarter, including 12 consecutive points in four minutes. James shouted encouragement to Davis on the sidelines and let him continue to dominate the game! After securing a Lakers victory, Davis jumped back to the locker room, and Lakers fans who came to the road cheered and applauded his brave performance of 38 points and 17 rebounds.
"I knew I was going to be back to the game anyway," Davis said after the game. It would be nice to calm it (ankle), but I didn't want to rest too long for fear it would get worse. Tie your shoes tighter, get the adrenaline pumping until the end of the game, and get some treatment. I'll be fine. ”
2. The Lakers won more than 50% for the first time, and Davis changed the game
It was the Lakers' fifth win in the last 6 games and the 14th win in the last 21 games. The Lakers, who reshaped their roster, improved their record to 39-38 and had a win rate of more than 50% for the first time of the season.
"[Davis] changed the game for us," said teammate Vanderbilt, "and he could have been substituted, but he wanted to stay on the field because he knew how much it meant to us. Hats must be paid to him for holding on, fighting through injuries and adversity, and ushering in an outbreak. ”
Coach Hamm called "Davis playing with injury" "a big step forward for the team". 'We are a team that can make a difference, but there has to be a key force to lead this team, Davis is the core, everyone knows that it all starts with Davis, he is aggressive when he plays, we feed him, he doesn't stop or settle for jump shots, he keeps putting pressure on the box, putting pressure on the basket, and then we see that we have a clear advantage."
Timberwolves coach Finch also praised Davis' strength. "He blasted us in all kinds of ways, rebounds, inside, mid-range... He's playing at a super high level and it's really hard to limit him. ”
3. James gradually finds himself
This is James' third comeback after a month away, and he looks more and more like his former self. James played 32 minutes and had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, one more minute than against the Bulls. He said he will also play in the next game against the Rockets. (It's worth noting: Los Angeles-Houston flights were canceled due to a snowstorm in Minneapolis, leaving the Lakers to stay in Minneapolis overnight after the game and fly to Hugh on Saturday afternoon local time.) ）
"It's getting better," James said of his form, "and my rhythm hasn't fully returned to my pre-injury form, after all, I'm missing four weeks and I can understand. So, I think every game, every minute, when my breathing is smoother, I can play a little longer. I was happy to be able to stage two dunks, once in an offensive and defensive transition and another in a half-court position, and I saw my feet and other parts of my body react to that. ”
4. Hamm adjusts the rotation to rush to the top six
In one of the most important games of the season so far, Hamm adjusted his rotation, with only eight players playing more than 11 minutes. Russell (12 points, 10 assists) played energically against his old club, while Reeves (15 points) continued his offensive performance. Hachimura and Schroder also brought energy from the bench, with Hachimura's defense against Towns key to the second-half comeback, and Gabriel also maintained his form against the Timberwolves Twin Towers. Even Beasley, the ninth man in this game, scored 9 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting, getting out of the slump in shooting.
The Lakers are aiming for the top six in the West and try to avoid playoffs. "We still need to conquer more things, let's start with the game against the Rockets," Hamm said. ”