On March 10 Anthony Davis missed a wide-open three at the buzzer against the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center in what would be the last Laker home game before the season was postponed. Six months later from nearly the same spot, Davis nailed a clutch three at the buzzer in a 105-103 victory propelling the Lakers to a 2-0 series lead over the Nuggets.
“It would have made it even better to be in Staples tonight with the fans that support us all year, but to be in that moment and hit a shot like that is still a dream,” said Davis scoring 31 points.
The Lakers are now 3-0 in the Black Mamba jerseys this postseason. Davis credits the jerseys for adding swag to the team. “Our swag is a little different every time we put on those jerseys. Those are [Kobe’s] jerseys, the ones he created, so every time we put it on, we feel like we want to win.”
“[Vogel] said ‘look at the jerseys you have on, he made big plays, so it’s time for us to make big-time plays’,” said Davis on Frank Vogel’s message to the team during crunch time. “Just looking down at the jersey and coach telling us, it’s a constant reminder that Kobe is with us and we have his spirit in those jerseys.”
LeBron James got off to a hot start scoring the first 12 Laker points of the game finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds. James cooled down in the second half scoring 6 points and credited Davis for getting the Lakers to the finish line. “In the second half, I leaned on him and he brought us home,” said James.
Heading into halftime LA possessed a 10-point lead, 60-50. The Nuggets haven’t quit throughout the entire playoffs and no lead is safe when facing the tandem of Nikola Jokic scoring 30 and Jamal Murray netting 25 points.
During the final three minutes of the game, Denver went on an 11-2 run with a big Nikola Jokic hook shot in the paint over Anthony Davis capping off the run, giving the Nuggets a 103-102 lead with just 20 seconds remaining as LA called a timeout.
“I was kind of upset because I’m a better defensive player than that. He made great plays throughout the course of the game,” said Davis. “Rondo told me [during the timeout] ‘That’s all right, he scored on you. Now you go get it back’.”
The next play Rondo inbounded the ball to Davis at the left three-point wing. Davis’ high arching three-pointer as time expired was lifted over the outstretched hand of Jokic hitting nothing but net, sending the Lakers bench into a frenzy along with Davis yelling ‘Kobe!’ while charging towards his teammates.
“It was just a great moment, a great moment to be with the team. They’re cheering for you, celebrating for you. The brotherhood, the support from ownership, to the coaching staff, to the training staff, to the players, everybody is one big family,” said Davis. “It’s special moments like this that you keep forever.”
The Lakers will attempt to take a 3-0 series lead Tuesday at 6 pm on TNT.