Anthony Davis performs and Lakers overcome shaky begin in blowout win over Hawks

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18, 2024: Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell (1) is fouled.

Anthony Davis did not want 20/20 imaginative and prescient to see the Atlanta Hawks had been making an attempt to seize the Lakers’ consideration.

“You don’t need my view!” Austin Reaves would later say.

After the Lakers turned the ball over on the primary play of the sport, Hawks ahead Jaylen Johnson turned the following quick break right into a spotlight, leaping nearly fully over Reaves — the uncommon event the place the story begins with an exclamation level earlier than something is written.

The dunk, which for Reaves’ sake was overshadowed by Anthony Edwards throughout a distinct recreation in Utah, triggered an 11-2 begin for Atlanta for a sudden wake-up name.

Learn extra: Shot-clock craziness and an Anthony Davis harm plague Lakers’ loss to Warriors

“I feel that may be the primary time I’ve ever been actually dunked on. So I made it a extremely very long time with out being very athletic, choosing my spots to get out of the way in which. Tried to take a cost,” Reaves stated grinning. “I do not know, tremendous athletic child and, you recognize, he obtained one. The longer I play the sport, I am positive it is gonna occur once more. So ain’t too nervous about it.

“It was simply form of the entire sequence of that being the beginning after which them form of having that run. I am sitting there like, s—, that is what began all of it.”

However with Davis again within the lineup after sustaining a scratched cornea Saturday, the Lakers (37-32) rapidly discovered their rhythm, ensuring Johnson’s spotlight was an outlier in a recreation that was in any other case all Lakers.

All 5 starters completed with at the very least 12 factors, all had huge moments and all had been capable of spend a lot of the fourth quarter on the bench throughout a 136-105 win over Atlanta on Monday evening at Crypto.com Area to finish a two-game skid.

Lakers star LeBron James reacts after scoring on a fast-break layup against the Atlanta Hawks.Lakers star LeBron James reacts after scoring on a fast-break layup against the Atlanta Hawks.

“I am joyful for our guys,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham stated. “There was a whole lot of carryover on the defensive finish. We talked about limiting offensive rebounds and doing a greater job on the defensive glass. For almost all of the sport, I believed we did a superb job doing that. After which the ball motion. To finish up with 39 assists is large. If we proceed that approach, taking part in the appropriate approach, guys gonna make, gonna miss photographs, however so long as we give them the chance to take action, and we make fast selections, you may have nights like this when you might have six guys that find yourself being in double figures. So I believed it was a terrific evening. A fantastic, useful evening on each side of the ball.”

The Hawks (30-38), who beat the Clippers the evening earlier than, obtained 25 factors from Johnson however by no means actually challenged as soon as the Lakers discovered their footing.

D’Angelo Russell scored 27 factors and dished out 10 assists. His sixth three-pointer tied him with Nick Van Exel for the Lakers’ single-season file of 183 threes.

LeBron James and Davis each shot 10 for 14 from the sphere for 25 and 22 factors, respectively. Rui Hachimura had 17 and Reaves discovered a spotlight of his personal, stealing an inbounds move and discovering James for a dunk with a no-look, behind-the-back move.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves makes a midair pass in front of Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter.Lakers guard Austin Reaves makes a midair pass in front of Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves makes a midair move in entrance of Atlanta Hawks ahead De’Andre Hunter within the first half. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Occasions)

Max Christie led the Lakers off the bench with 11 factors.

For Davis, the sport got here after a scare on Saturday when he suffered a scratched cornea after being hit within the face by Golden State’s Trayce Jackson-Davis.

“I simply couldn’t see. The corneal abrasion was truly proper in the midst of my eye,” Davis stated. “It wasn’t like off to the facet. So anytime I regarded it was blurry. My eye was swollen. I believed my eye was like, open. But it surely wasn’t. It stored watering. It simply felt like sand was in my eye.

“So it was simply higher closed and I couldn’t actually see. So, I’ve simply been icing it, like Saturday after the third quarter and it obtained higher later that evening. The swelling went down. I simply form of stayed in darkness. After which went to go see the physician on Sunday morning and a few extra issues that we ended up discovering out. But it surely was actually robust for me to see.”

He didn’t should squint to see what his crew regarded like in opposition to the Hawks.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18, 2024: Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) scores.LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18, 2024: Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) scores.

“I went to the attention physician and I feel it’s good. I’m nonetheless 20/15, so I be ok with that,” he stated.

Davis’ return got here because the Lakers obtained unhealthy information relating to their frontcourt depth.

Reserve huge man Christian Wooden, who has not performed the final 13 video games, is about to endure arthroscopic knee surgical procedure and shall be out a number of weeks, in line with an individual with data of the state of affairs not licensed to talk publicly.

Wooden has been out due to knee swelling because the All-Star break. The crew is anticipated to present an official replace on him quickly. At shootaround on Monday, injured ahead Jarred Vanderbilt did some spot taking pictures drills on the court docket whereas Ham and normal supervisor Rob Pelinka watched.

“He is coming alongside in line with plan,” Ham stated earlier than the sport. “Gabe’s (Vincent) coming alongside in line with plan. We ought to be getting Cam (Reddish) again fairly quickly right here. In order we begin to get these guys again and what they bring about to our basketball crew, simply the intangibles.

“Folks discuss making photographs and, clearly, you need to get stops, however these guys’ potential to get us further possessions — whether or not it is steals, deflections that flip into turnovers — their potential to get offensive rebounds and safe defensive rebounds is far wanted. That’ll be a welcomed addition to get these guys again wholesome.”

The Lakers don’t play once more till Friday, after they host the Philadelphia 76ers.

“We’ll get an opportunity to tighten up some issues offensively. Tighten up some issues defensively,” Ham stated. “There’s a few new wrinkles we need to do on each side of the ball and we’ll get an opportunity to take a look at. After which, watch a bit of movie and see how we will be one of the best model of ourselves. However simply take it at some point at a time, beginning with the break day. Everybody getting off their toes. Hopefully spending time with their households and getting away from it for a bit of bit. However then, as soon as we strike again up on Wednesday, figuring out that we now have to be higher.

“It doesn’t matter what’s taking place across the league, or across the positioning with our crew, if we do not, once more, attempt to be one of the best model of ourselves and care for our personal enterprise, nothing else will matter.”

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This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.

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