The Los Angeles Lakers have a history of turning to their star men when things get serious. Last night, it was Anthony Davis who came to the rescue for the ailing Lakers, hitting 42 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists in leading his team to a 123-110 win over the Phoenix Suns.
The result not only kept the Lakers in contention with that crucial sixth spot (and an automatic place in the end of season playoffs) in the Western Conference, but it was their second win in the last seven matches.
After a morale sapping defeat agains the Trail Blazers on Saturday, which saw Portland leap-frog the Lakers, a big performance was needed against the #2 ranked Suns on Sunday.
And Anthony Davis delivered.
AD (42 PTS & 12 REB) took over in the Lakers’ W 👀 pic.twitter.com/3otIS5qT9Q
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 10, 2021
Fresh from buying a new mansion in Bel Air last week, with its own basketball court, the onus was on Davis to rescue the Lakers season.
With LeBron James, Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma out, Davis took things into his own hands and produced a stellar performance as his team led from start to finish to ensure that that the Suns did not complete a regular season sweep against the current NBA Champions.
The Lakers charged into a first quarter lead, extended that in the third and then kept the Suns at arms length in the final quarter to ensure a much-needed victory.
The result leaves the Lakers 7th in the West, one game behind the Trail Blazers in sixth with four games of the season left to play.
As things stand, the Lakers would face a playoff against the Golden State Warriors and points machine Steph Curry for the 7th seed spot in the post season. However, much could change over the final quartet of games.
The Suns hopes of winning the Western Conference dimmed with that defeat and with the Utah Jazz registering their fifth win in a row, the Jazz now lead the Suns by two games, with the Suns three games ahead of the Clippers in third.
Playoffs Taking Shape
As we head into the final four games of the regular season, the playoffs are now starting to take shape. The Philadelphia 76ers timely 8-game winning streak has moved them three clear of the Brooklyn Nets in the west, with the Nets now just half a game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks.
All three of those teams are confirmed in the playoffs, while the Knicks, Hawks and Heat are all assured at least of a play in spot. The Celtics, Hornets, Wizards, Pacers, Bulls and Raptors are all in with a mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs, or the play in at the very least.
Things are more defined in the west with the Jazz, Suns, Clippers and Nuggets all confirmed as playoff teams. The Mavericks and Trail Blazers occupy the final two playoff spots but they could be caught by the Lakers.
The Warriors, Grizzlies, Spurs, Pelicans and Kings are all in contention, most likely for a play in tournament place.
In terms of their respective divisions, only the Mavericks, Jazz and Bucks have clinched their divisional title.
Key Games This Week For Punters
If you fancy a bet on the outcome of the key games remaining in the NBA regular season, then DraftKings Sportsbook offers excellent odds and coverage of the games that will be completed over the weekend.
Some of the key games coming up this week include:
- Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks
- Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors
- Miami Heat v Boston Celtics
- Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers
- New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers
- Portland Trail Blazers v Utah Jazz
- Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat
- Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns
- Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers
It promises to be a hugely exciting end to the season as the teams that make it into the playoffs and the play in are finally decided, as well as the seedings of the teams heading into the post-season.