Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard lead a near-historic block party, and the Lakers needed every one of them
Davis and Howard accounted for 13 of the Lakers' 20 blocks against Detroit on Sunday
With 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the Lakers and Pistons were tied at 79. Detroit, having recovered from an 11-point halftime deficit, just wouldn't go away. Anthony Davis was on the bench. LeBron James was having, by his standards, a relatively pedestrian game when he got Andre Drummond switched on to him in a one-on-one setting.
He backed out to the 3-point arc.
He fired. He missed.
And Dwight Howard did this:
That bucket was part of a 15-0 fourth-quarter run -- sparked in large part by Howard on both ends -- that propelled the Lakers to a 106-99 victory, improving their record to a Western Conference-best 29-7. Alex Caruso was splendid in money time. LeBron got going and finished with a triple-double. Anthony Davis re-entered the game and hit a huge corner 3-pointer to put the Lakers up four with 1:28 to play. Howard went for 11 points, nine boards and five blocks.
Pay particular attention to that last stat, because the Lakers threw a full-on block party in this game -- finishing with 20 blocks as a team, one off the franchise record, which was set in 1982, and the most by an NBA team since the Raptors matched that number in 2001.
By the numbers, Davis had eight blocks on his own, which is the most by a Lakers player since Shaq in 2003, per ESPN. JaVale McGee finished with six blocks. Avery Bradley chipped in with one. And Howard, in addition to 11 points and nine rebounds, had his five blocks, three of which came in the fourth quarter when the Lakers -- who were outscored from the free-throw and 3-point line by a combined 29 points -- needed every stop they could get.
The Lakers just keep finding ways to win, and for Howard, the dream season continues as he became the sixth player in NBA history to record 13,000 rebounds, 2,000 blocks and 1,000 steals for his career. The other five? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Parrish, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. Not bad company.
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