On Friday, Anthony Davis played against a Milwaukee Bucks defense that ranks No. 6 in both restricted area field goal attempts allowed and restricted area field goal percentage. He scored 44 points on that defense. On Sunday, he faced a Washington Wizards defense that ranks fifth in both categories. So naturally, he scored 55 points to go along with 17 rebounds, three blocks and, most importantly, an eighth win in the past 10 games for his team.
It was, almost without question, the best game that he has ever played as a Laker. In fact, it put him in some very historic company in the record books:
- Davis is the first Laker since Kobe Bryant in 2013 with back-to-back 40-point games.
- Davis is the first Laker since Shaquille O'Neal with back-to-back 40-point games that also included 10 rebounds.
- Davis is the eighth Laker ever to post a 50-point, 10-rebound game, joining Bryant, O'Neal, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Rudy LaRusso, Elgin Baylor and George Mikan.
- Davis is the first Laker in team history to post a 50-point, 10-rebound, 3-block performance. In fact, only Bryant had ever had a 50-point, 3-block performance as a Laker prior to Davis' monster outing on Sunday.
- Davis is the second player in NBA history with a 55-point, 15-rebound, 3-block performance, joining Kevin McHale, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
- Davis has made 40 field goals in the past two games, tying him with Bryant for the most made in any two-game span over the past 20 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
We could go on like that for days if we had to. We are simply running out of superlatives for how well Davis is playing right now. He is averaging over 32 points and 15 rebounds over the past three weeks. He has a chance to lead the NBA in points, rebounds and blocks for the season.
And yet, his brilliance can be felt most in the standings. The Lakers started the season 2-10. They are now 10-12, and were it not for a miraculous comeback by the Indiana Pacers on Monday, they would be .500 right now. Davis almost singlehandedly saved an unsaveable season, lifting a Lakers team destined to hand the New Orleans Pelicans a top draft pick back into contention for a playoff spot. If he keeps playing this way, he might be able to carry them quite a bit further.