A Los Angeles Lakers’ big man had an excellent first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it was not Anthony Davis. Christian Wood was the Lakers’ leading scorer at the half with 13 points as the Lakers’ trailed by a point.
But the second half was all Davis as he scored 23 of his 32 points after halftime, leading seven Lakers in double-figures as the Lakers came away with a 121-115 victory in Cleveland. Davis has been the subject of much scrutiny at times this season, but he was dominant in Cleveland when the Lakers needed it most.
After the contest, Davis noted that Darvin Ham calling a play for him to start the second half helped get him going, and he also gave credit to the other Lakers’ shot making for helping to open things up for him, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“Just being aggressive. We came out running a play for me. Just trying to win a basketball game, honestly. I think my team set the foundation early on in the first half, C-Wood with his points, Jaxson with his lob threat and then Austin, DLo, Bron, TP, Max. Then everything just opened up for me in the second half. Was able to get some post-ups where they wasn’t doubling, hit some midrange jump shots, some lobs. But I think it was just our defense getting out and running after getting a stop. But it was me just ultimately being more aggressive.”
Davis is coming off a nine-point game against the Dallas Mavericks so it was clearly an emphasis for the Lakers to get him going in the third quarter after his relatively quiet first half.
With Davis coming out so strong in the second half, many wondered what was said to him at halftime, but the big man said there was no conversation, though he joked that Wood’s first half was all the motivation he needed:
“Nah, there was nothing that was talked about. I just never like C-Wood to have more points than me. I saw he had 13 so I was like ‘it’s time for me to go.’ But nah, I think it was just recognition from the coaches tonight of just, OK, we’re gonna give him the ball. Some of the coaches talked to me, some players talked to me. Just get it and go, just be aggressive. Try to make the right play but sometimes the right play is you getting a shot up. So that was really it. But it felt good. Like I said, I think it was the guys’ shot-making ability tonight and playmaking that allowed me to have a little bit more space.”
Of course there was likely no one more happy for Wood’s big first half than Davis as the two bigs have forged a relationship ever since the latter signed with the Lakers this summer. Whatever the motivation was, the Lakers were happy to see it as they needed every bit of his efforts on this night.
As the team goes through this road trip without some important pieces, Davis continues to be even more important. If Davis continues with performances like he had against the Cavaliers, the Lakers will be able to keep grinding out wins regardless of who is available.
Lakers’ Christian Wood looking to learn from Anthony Davis
Christian Wood has made no secret of his admiration for his Lakers’ teammate Anthony Davis, letting it be known that he has always been a fan of Davis’ game. And now that he has the opportunity, he is looking to learn everything he can from his fellow big.
In a recent interview Wood spoke on this, saying how he wanted to play one-on-one with Davis immediately and is constantly asking questions of his teammate, trying to learn as much as he can from him.
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