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Anthony Davis Drops 50 to Help LeBron James, Lakers Blow Out Timberwolves

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 9, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) drives to basket while defended by Minnesota Timberwolves' Robert Covington (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers continued their early season dominance with a 142-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center in L.A. on Sunday night.

Lakers All-Star forward Anthony Davis carried the Lakers with 50 points, coming nine points shy of his career-high. Through Davis' wire-to-wire excellence, L.A. was able to overcome LeBron James finding himself in uncharacteristic foul trouble as he entered halftime with four personal fouls.

The Lakers improved to 21-3. They have won four in a row and 14 of their last 15 en route to topping the Western Conference.

The 10-12 Timberwolves, meanwhile, have dropped four straight.

     

Notable Stats

LAL F Anthony Davis: 50 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 1 block

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LAL G LeBron James: 32 points, 4 rebounds, 13 assists, 1 steal

LAL G Alex Caruso: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals

LAL G Danny Green: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals

MIN F Andrew Wiggins: 19 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists

MIN C Karl-Anthony Towns: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal

MIN G Josh Okogie: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist

     

Anthony Davis Leads Lakers with First 50-Burger of the Season

This is why the Lakers traded for Davis.

James called for four fouls before halftime? No problem, as Davis led L.A. on an 11-0 run to finish the second quarter and entered the locker room with 27 points:

NBA @NBA

Anthony Davis gets out to 27 1st half PTS on 12-15 shooting for the @Lakers! #LakeShow 📲💻: https://t.co/lZZApswzuX https://t.co/i8HaGgILmD

Prior to that, Davis opened the contest with 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field:

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

Anthony Davis on fire in the first quarter 🔥 13 Pts 6-6 FG https://t.co/FbRTR8esrZ

All told, Davis had 42 points on 18-of-24 shooting by the end of the third quarter. It marked the third game with at least 40 points this season for the 26-year-old All-Star.

Brett Dawson @BDawsonWrites

Anthony Davis entered tonight averaging 30.5 points over the past six games and through three quarters already has his Laker high of 42. It’s his third game this season with at least 40 points.

The Timberwolves had no answers for Davis in the paint:

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Pretty easy 40 spot for @AntDavis23. Took him just 24 shots, of which he hit 17, plus 6 of 6 FT’s. All but 2 of his buckets have come in the paint.

Jon Krawczynski @JonKrawczynski

Wolves might have to go bigger. Davis is just running fly patterns and LeBron is strafing

Davis' 50 points came two days after he dropped 39 points in the Lakers' 136-113 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It marked the first time Davis has scored 50 points in a game since Feb. 26, 2018. He also joined elite Lakers company:

Joey Ramirez @JoeyARamirez

Lakers with 50-point games this decade. • Kobe Bryant • LeBron James • Anthony Davis That's it.

"It's just the respect and understanding between the two of us," James told Spectrum SportsNet of Davis following the Portland game. "We hold each other accountable every game and when it starts with us, it trickles down to everybody else on the team. So, we all buy in."

That was on display against the Timberwolves as Davis' big night also resulted in the Lakers as a group shooting 58.5 percent from the field (45.2 percent from three).

     

Karl-Anthony Towns Pales in Comparison to Davis

Towns was selected first overall in the 2015 NBA draft out of Kentucky.

Davis was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA draft out of Kentucky.

And that's seemingly where their similarities end as Davis performed superior to Towns in almost every way:

ChrisMorell @ChrisMorell

Anthony Davis is just destroying Towns

David Dennis Jr. @DavidDTSS

nothing Anthony Davis loves more than destroying Townes https://t.co/sG6qBFZ3qj

canishoopus @canishoopus

No answer for Davis, and Towns can't get going at the offensive end. A little surprised the Wolves are this close.

Towns did further etch his place in Timberwolves franchise history:

Timberwolves PR @Twolves_PR

With that three-pointer, Towns surpassed Anthony Peeler for sole possession of second on the franchise's three-pointers made list. He is now at 466 career triples.

Timberwolves PR @Twolves_PR

At the end of the third, Towns is nearing his 10th 20+ point/5+ rebound/5+ assist game of the season (40th career). He would pass Kevin Love (39) for third most such games in team history, while Kevin Garnett leads that group with 291.

But it was hard to do anything other than compare Towns to Davis, and the conclusion was that Towns still hasn't found his way into the top tier of big men in the league.

Towns is solid and has been since entering the league. However, the Timberwolves need him to be transcendent as the pillar of their team.

That said, Towns can't be expected to do it all alone. Entering Sunday, the 24-year-old led the team in points per game (26.2), rebounds (11.9) and blocks (1.4).

If nothing else, Towns is more than enough for Grammy Award nominee Lizzo:

Timberwolves @Timberwolves

🎶 New man on the Minnesota Timberwolves 🎶 cc: @KarlTowns @lizzo 😂 https://t.co/FQveOCZA2K

The Timberwolves will get a better gauge of where exactly they stack up in the Western Conference against 10-12 Phoenix and 13-10 Utah this week, though it was made clear against the Lakers that they are nowhere near the top.

     

What's Next?

The Timberwolves will stay west, traveling to Phoenix to play the 10-12 Suns on Monday night.

The Lakers will travel to Orlando to face the 11-11 Magic on Wednesday night.

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