They had overcome a 20-point deficit to lead 106-93 in the fourth quarter, but Davis and LeBron James ran out of gas.
With 28.0 seconds left in the fourth quarter and L.A. up 110-108, Davis missed two free throws, allowing the Celtics to force overtime and leave with a 122-118 win, and afterward, he was despondent.
A dejected AD at the press conference tonight: "Make 2 free throws go up 4, different ball game. To me the rest doesn't matter. I had a chance to ice the game."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) December 14, 2022
Other than those botched free throws, the superstar big man had yet another magnificent outing. He scored 37 points and added 12 rebounds and three assists, and for much of the contest, Boston had no answer for him.
Lately, no one in the NBA has had an answer for Davis.
He’s averaging 28.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game on the season while shooting an incredible 59.3 percent from the field. He has also improved his free-throw accuracy to 82.4 percent after shooting less than 74.0 percent from the charity stripe in each of the last two seasons.
The University of Kentucky product was recently named Western Conference Player of the Week, and after Davis exploded for 55 points against the Washington Wizards earlier in December, James said he was “playing like the MVP of this league.”
Just two days before that 55-point outing, Davis had another monster game in a win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. His phenomenal play of late has seemingly gotten his foot in the door when it comes to being talked about as an MVP candidate.
The bad news for the Lakers is that they’re too dependent on their two superstars. Against Boston on Tuesday, their only other double-digit scorer was Russell Westbrook, but he shot only 7-of-19 overall and 1-of-6 from 3-point range.
One or two productive forwards who can shoot the ball well from deep would probably make a big difference while giving the 37-year-old James a bit of a respite. Los Angeles is reportedly focused on trading for Bojan Bogdanovic, Evan Fournier or Cam Reddish in order to rectify that problem.