In the opinion of Dwight Howard, the addition of Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup has not only helped the team’s production, but also given a boost to teammate LeBron James.
Howard spoke about how Davis’ high level of production on a nightly basis has motivated James, a 17-year veteran, to keep up a similar pace.
“Well, AD (Davis) has had an effect on LeBron,” Howard said. “I think the way that he’s playing, now LeBron’s saying, ‘I got to step my level of play up because AD, my running partner, every night he’s there.’ So I think he’s made LeBron, he’s given LeBron new life.”
The latest indication of what Davis has meant to the Lakers came on Tuesday night, when he put together an outstanding performance in the team’s 120-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the 39 minutes that Davis played against the Sixers, he scored 37 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, collected four steals, handed out a pair of assists and blocked two shots.
James served as a perfect complement to Davis’ effort, also picking up a double-double with 22 points and 14 assists. In addition, he corralled seven rebounds and also blocked a pair of shots.
Long before Davis was acquired last June by the Lakers, James had pushed for the them to trade for the superstar. Tuesday night’s performance and Davis’ effort this season come as no surprise to James.
“It’s everything I expected and more,” James said. “Obviously, that’s why I wanted him here. When you get a generational talent like that and you got an opportunity to get him, you just try to do whatever you can to get him.”
The victory improved the Lakers’ Western Conference-leading record to 47-13, with their next contest a potential NBA Finals matchup. That will take place on Friday night at Staples Center against the Milwaukee Bucks, who enter Wednesday’s action with a league-best 52-9 record.