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Anthony Davis Drops 34 in Lakers' Win vs. Spurs as LeBron James Continues to Sit

Erin WalshNovember 15, 2021

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

The LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves with an 114-106 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday at the Staples Center. 

The Lakers improved to 8-6 on the season with the win, while the Spurs dropped to 4-9. Sunday's game was L.A.'s sixth consecutive contest without James, who suffered an abdominal injury in a Nov. 2 win over the Houston Rockets. 

Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis continue to be significant factors for the Purple and Gold with James sidelined. However, Wayne Ellington and Malik Monk also stepped up against the Spurs. 

Notable Stats

Anthony Davis, PF, LAL: 34 PTS, 15 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK

Dejounte Murray, PG, SAS: 22 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK

Russell Westbrook, PG, LAL: 14 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL

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Keldon Johnson, SF, SAS: 24 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST


Anthony Davis Powers Lakers, But Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk Impressive Off Bench 

No James, no problem for Davis, who had one of his best games of the season for the Lakers on Sunday afternoon.

The 28-year-old was particularly impressive in the first half, finishing with 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting. He also had six dunks, five rebounds, seven assists and one steal before halftime to help the Lakers take a 60-55 lead to the locker room.

NBA @NBA

AD's first half:<br><br>27 points<br>12-16 shooting 😳<br><br>2nd half on NBA League Pass ⤵️<a href="https://t.co/5QqkBhf1W0">https://t.co/5QqkBhf1W0</a> <a href="https://t.co/siGslQVzu9">pic.twitter.com/siGslQVzu9</a>

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

AD ... to AD! 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/eSKsNJDv1x">pic.twitter.com/eSKsNJDv1x</a>

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

One half, six dunks, 27 points. <a href="https://t.co/DiMCT76ne8">pic.twitter.com/DiMCT76ne8</a>

However, Davis was less effective in the second half as Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Talen Horton-Tucker stepped up. He tallied seven points, eight rebounds and six assists in the second half while his supporting cast did much of the heavy lifting. 

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

C4RMELO with the four-point play 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/nDH6SfoOWr">pic.twitter.com/nDH6SfoOWr</a>

Westbrook finished the second half with eight points, seven rebounds and two assists, while Anthony and Tucker combined for 21 points.

It was a much better performance from Anthony, who finished Friday's game against the Timberwolves with just three points, five rebounds and one assist in 23 minutes.

With James sidelined, it's important Anthony plays well and contributes on offense. The Lakers signed the veteran to provide depth off the bench, and he's been solid so far this year.

Anthony entered Sunday's game averaging 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and one assist per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 46.6 percent from deep.

Ellington was also a big reason why the Lakers defeated the Spurs. The 33-year-old veteran finished with 15 points, two rebounds and two assists on 10-of-15 shooting off the bench. It was his best game of the season for L.A., and it was nice to see him step up with James sidelined.

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Finish line on the horizon. <a href="https://twitter.com/AntDavis23?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AntDavis23</a>: 29 pts (13/19 FG), 12 reb<a href="https://twitter.com/WayneEllington?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WayneEllington</a>: 15 pts (5/6 3P) <a href="https://t.co/P5BqcL3LLv">pic.twitter.com/P5BqcL3LLv</a>

In addition to Ellington, Monk was also solid off the bench for the Lakers, finishing with 16 points, two rebounds and four assists on 8-of-14 shooting. The duo was much more impressive in the second half to help power the Lakers past San Antonio. 

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Look who's heating up 👀 <a href="https://t.co/0YfMujVfvJ">pic.twitter.com/0YfMujVfvJ</a>

Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson's Efforts Not Enough

Murray and Johnson are a big reason why the Spurs remained in contention throughout Sunday's game against the Lakers.

Murray finished the first half with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block, while Johnson finished with 16 points, three rebounds and one assist.

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

💧 <a href="https://twitter.com/DejounteMurray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DejounteMurray</a> 💧 <a href="https://t.co/dgjXwTMePF">pic.twitter.com/dgjXwTMePF</a>

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

Big Body staying with it! 💪 <a href="https://t.co/K41oCLh0Xy">pic.twitter.com/K41oCLh0Xy</a>

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

K3LDON 🎯 <a href="https://t.co/tDPD9pOz9g">pic.twitter.com/tDPD9pOz9g</a>

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

MAKE THAT 4! ☔️<br><br>Keldon has the hot hand! 16 PTS in 12 min ♨️ <a href="https://t.co/vS1Py32z3I">https://t.co/vS1Py32z3I</a> <a href="https://t.co/EEEM1k0xwt">pic.twitter.com/EEEM1k0xwt</a>

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

just <a href="https://twitter.com/DejounteMurray?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DejounteMurray</a> things 🤷‍♂️🍪 <a href="https://t.co/dVUurlpHB4">pic.twitter.com/dVUurlpHB4</a>

The duo continued to pace the Spurs in the second half, combining for 15 points. However, it was not enough as San Antonio struggled to get production out of two other starters -- Drew Eubanks and Doug McDermott. 

Eubanks finished the game with two points, five rebounds and five assists, while McDermott finished with just eight points, two rebounds and one assist. It was a difficult night for both players, and arguably their worst game of the season. 

McDermott is typically a starter, but Eubanks started in place of Jakob Poeltl, who missed Sunday's game for conditioning reasons. Poeltl has been a big presence for San Antonio this year, averaging 13.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, so missing him for any period of time isn't great. 

If San Antonio is going to find any success this season, it will have to get more production out of every player not named Murray and Johnson. Thaddeus Young (17 points, nine rebounds, two assists) and Devin Vassell (19 points, seven rebounds, one assist) played solid on Sunday, but not having them in the starting lineup killed the Spurs. 

What's Next?

The Lakers will host the Chicago Bulls on Monday, while the Spurs will be back in action Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers. 

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