Report: 'Frustrated' Anthony Davis demanded to 'be glued' to Jimmy Butler after Game 3 loss - Lakers Daily

Report: ‘Frustrated’ Anthony Davis demanded to ‘be glued’ to Jimmy Butler after Game 3 loss

Anthony Davis and Jimmy Butler

A new report indicates that in the immediate aftermath of Jimmy Butler’s triple-double performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis wanted the opportunity to virtually attach himself to Butler in the next contest.

“After that game, privately, a frustrated Davis alerted teammates and coaches that he needed to be glued to Butler, sources told Yahoo Sports,” Chris Haynes wrote.

“And in Monday’s practice, Davis was officially given the assignment he wanted. After the ball was tipped and when the Heat got their first offensive possession, the tone was set when Davis shadowed Butler.”

Davis was plagued by foul trouble during much of Game 3, which effectively prevented the Lakers from using him against the aggressive Miami Heat star.

The end result was that Butler finished with 40 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots, helping the Heat to their first win in the series.

However, from the outset of Tuesday’s Game 4, Davis made a concerted effort to hound Butler, which paid off with a clutch play late in the game to clinch a 102-96 Lakers victory.

“I just tried to be locked in to him,” Davis said after that contest. “We know that the past … the last game, he kind of just took over and imposed his will on the game on both ends of the floor, and we just tried to give him a different look. Tried to make him shoot over a contested hand, finishing over the length at the rim. Just make it tough for him. It was very easy for him in Game 3.

“We just wanted to switch it up. I wanted to use a lot of my energy on the defensive end, knowing the other guys on the team were going to make up the absence for me on the offensive end. The guys did a good job making shots, making plays for our team, especially late game. Defensively, I think we were just better overall. We were locked into what we were doing. We still had mistakes but some of the mistakes we had, we just covered for each other. Mistakes are going to happen. But we seemed like we played with a little bit more sense of urgency tonight.”

Butler finished Game 4 with 22 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and three steals, which were solid numbers but not enough for the Heat to tie the series.

After the game, Butler paid tribute to the effort of Davis, who finished second to Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in voting for this season’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

“He’s an incredible defender,” Butler said. “He contests a lot of shots, blocked shots. But I just think I got to be better at getting my guys involved. More dribble hand-offs, more screens. Maybe playing a little bit without the ball. Playing off the ball. That’s something that I can learn from.”

Davis and the Lakers will look to close out their series with the Heat on Friday night, with a victory giving the Lakers their first NBA title in a decade. The winner of that contest very likely could be dependent upon who wins the battle between Davis and Butler.