California Sports

Anthony Davis returns following MCL injury as Lakers outshine Nets 106-96

Los Angeles Lakers star forward Anthony Davis has been out since December 17, 2021, due to a sprained MCL in his left knee. After more than a month away, he finally made a comeback. Davis was upgraded to probable for tonight’s game against the Brooklyn Nets by the Lakers on Monday afternoon, and eventually, led the team to victory.

The Lakers stormed out to a double-digit lead over James Harden and the short-handed Brooklyn Nets, ended up winning 106-96 to rise to 24-24 on the season.

Impactful return

Davis made an early impact in his first game back from the MCL injury, smashing down an alley-oop from LeBron and nailing his first field goal for the Lakers’ first four points. He had an even bigger effect on defense right away, with three blocks in the first seven minutes of the game.

James looked as terrific as he has all year, ending with a team-high 33 points, six rebounds, and seven assists while generating highlights all night for a Lakers-friendly Brooklyn crowd. As the 37-year-old continues his incredible run, LeBron leads the Lakers in scoring for the 18th consecutive game.

Russell Westbrook looked much more like the player the Lakers envisioned when they acquired him last July, as some of his best off-ball cuts of the season resulted in a 15-point outing for Russ, with the majority of his points coming around the rim.

As the Nets clawed their way back into the game in the third quarter behind Harden and Patty Mills, with Davis on the bench with four fouls, James took over with back-to-back isolation jumpers to spark a 13-4 run, which was aided by a Malik Monk 3-pointer and a Westbrook and-one off a vintage James pocket pass.

Expected to boost Lakers’ performance

The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling to win consistently in recent weeks, and things haven’t been looking good for them. LeBron James has been performing like an MVP, but the rest of the team has struggled to stay in pace.

In his absence, LeBron has played center, and with Frank Vogel experimenting with small-ball combinations, Davis might start at the five when he returns.

Davis’ return was significant help for the Lakers, who had been performing terribly without him.

The Lakers were defeated by the Miami Heat on Sunday night, a team that is leading the Eastern Conference standings.

While it was yet another heartbreaking loss, the fact that the ultimate margin of victory was only six points suggests that they aren’t as far away from figuring it out as they have appeared at times this season.

Davis is averaging 23.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and two blocks per game in his 10th NBA season, while shooting only 18 percent from outside the arc, his lowest percentage since the 2014-15 season.

He had been out of the Lakers’ last 17 games, and the team has a 7-10 record during that time. The 8-time NBA All-Star has been a huge loss for the Lakers, and his return was the push they needed to break out of their current funk.

Anthony Davis

Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . He plays the power forward and center positions. (wikipedia)

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. (wikipedia)