first_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersBut what stood out was just how many ways he found to contribute. Davis also had another standout defensive night — on one possession stuffing a Marvin Williams lay-up attempt, on another poking out a steal while guarding Terry Rozier. He knocked down three 3-pointers against defenders who sagged off of him by the perimeter — but what else could they do?Davis finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks — a full picture into his complete game. James, who spent most of the first half as a distributor (11 assists) said he was content to feed Davis at the start.Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed The formula, with the two stars switching off driving the team, is what the Lakers see as the key to their season. Last year, neither James nor Davis had that co-star to lean on.“Just knowing that I’m probably gonna play the whole third and then kind of sit a little bit through the fourth, I try to tell [James], like, ‘This is your time. Just go and be you,’” Davis said. “And he’s done it the past couple games. So knowing that I was able to relax a little bit.”It was a night for big men against the undersized frontcourt of Charlotte: Dwight Howard also had his best game so far of his second run with the Lakers, adding some shooting touch to his physical post presence (10 rebounds).Howard sunk all eight of his shot attempts of the game for 16 points, but none got a louder reception than the first: The 33-year-old caught a lob from Danny Green and threw down a two-fisted reverse dunk, which seemed to surprise even himself.By the second half, even Howard — who has been a more timid version of his typically gregarious self — was comfortable to mug for the crowd, adding a finger wag after a fourth-quarter block of Zeller (he finished with four rejections). Frank Vogel thought the center, a reclamation project of the team, deflected even more defensively than the stats suggested on his way to being what the Lakers have hoped: a star in his role.“Dwight’s shown bursts like that all throughout camp,” he said. “But tonight in particular, he was off the charts.”No one was bumped an bruised Sunday evening like Zeller, who was returning from injury: A night of banging in the post against the Lakers left him with a bandaged left eye after Davis reacted to an elbow to his jaw with an incidental swipe of his own that gashed Zeller’s brow. The Hornets forward (19 points, 14 rebounds) was credited with a foul as he was being stitched in the locker room.There were some breakthroughs in the Lakers’ third game, one with substantially less hype than the previous two against Western contenders. Caruso again saw his first action in the second half, and wowed with several defensive highlights, led by a steal that he finished with an emphatic slam. A fan favorite, Caruso’s play has been pushing for more inclusion into the regular rotation — which might be coming after consecutive second-half subs.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the butt of fan ire after starting the season 0-for-11, ended his streak of futility with back-to-back baskets in the first quarter, the second of which drew simmering fans from their seats.“Them two games felt like 10 games, for real,” Caldwell-Pope said, looking relieved. “But after the second game I kind of went home and decompressed. Cleared my whole mind.”The Lakers can relate. Following a season-opening loss to the Clippers, they’ve bounced back with a pair of wins with Memphis visiting on Tuesday before the first true road trip of the season. They’re in a better place than they started, with plenty of reasons to keep looking up.“We know who we are,” James said. “But we have a long way to go to get to that point, but it starts with our mentality defensively, it starts with our physicality, then offensively it starts with us moving the ball and sharing the ball.“Tonight we did that once again.” Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs PreviousCharlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, front, dunks the ball past Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, left, and JaVale McGee during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, goes up for a shot past Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, speaks with head coach Frank Vogel during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, drives to the basket while Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Zeller defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, is fouled by Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier while driving to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, steals the ball away from Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham, right, loses the ball while Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Cook defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) dunks the ball while Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier, right, goes up for a shot while Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee, left, and Anthony Davis defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, front, dunks the ball past Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, left, and JaVale McGee during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, goes up for a shot past Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)NextShow Caption1 of 9Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, goes up for a shot past Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)ExpandLOS ANGELES — You can see and touch a new car, read the features, take a test drive, and still not know all there is to know.It takes some time airing out on the road before you fully appreciate what you have.In the same way, the Lakers have taken that process with Anthony Davis – the 26-year-old new star of the franchise. In his first two games, he felt more like a compliment to LeBron James. On Sunday night in a 120-101 thrashing of the Charlotte Hornets, Davis finally took center stage.Davis remains as ever one of the most dangerous players around the basket. In three straight possessions during a monstrous third quarter, Davis showcased his full rim-attacking repetoire: a dunk on a lob from James; a crossover dribble against a helpless Cody Zeller; and a pick and roll flush off another dime from James. “Every game is a game for AD to eat,” James said. “It doesn’t matter who we play against in my opinion.”Once Davis spent the night softening the Hornets up, it was James who wrapped up the win. After not scoring his first points until free throws at the 1:40 mark of the second quarter, James had 16 second-half points and led a clinching 14-2 run at the top of the fourth.His final basket, a two-handed dunk against a parting swell of Charlotte defenders, marked the end of the road for the outgunned Hornets.last_img

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