Anthony Davis has been a monster of late for the Lakers, who were riding a three-game winning streak coming into Phoenix Tuesday night. The winning streak ended with a 115-105 loss to the Suns, but Davis' run of dominance continued with a stat line you have to see to believe: 37 points, 21 rebounds, five steals and five blocks.
Since blocks and steals became an official stat in 1973, Davis is the only player to put up that line.
This is remarkable to me. Watching the first half of this game, I found myself saying, "same ol' A.D." as he wasn't getting into the paint and forcing downhill action like had been in his three previous performances, instead lingering around the perimeter and taking jump shots (he made two early on, but I thought this was a bad sign). But the Suns were cutting the downhill stuff off, and Davis remained patient while the Lakers somewhat neutralized him by leaving him behind and pushing the pace.
Until some lanes started opening up on rolls, and in transition, he crashed the offensive glass and got to the free-throw line, which has been a theme of this recent run. By the end, Davis had made 15 of 16 free throws and 11 of 17 shots. He engulfed rebounds all night. He was late to react to a few actions in the paint defensively, or perhaps he was just exhausted by the end of an effort like this, but you can't ask for more from a guy who is now just the third player in Lakers history to record four straight 30-15 games. He joins some pretty good company.
The Lakers are still not a good team. With this loss, they're 5-11 -- and they remain the only team in the league without a road victory. Still, if Davis keeps playing like this when LeBron James returns and they both can stay healthy for the remainder of the season (a big if), they might have a say in this playoff race after all.