Dominant Anthony Davis not sufficient as Lakers fall to Suns

There’s the promise — Anthony Davis swishing top-of-the-key jumpers, corralling each rebound and disrupting opposing offenses in each approach.

However there’s additionally the issue — Davis awkwardly getting his left arm tangled round Devin Booker’s head and hitting the courtroom, needing a timeout to make his approach again to his ft and to the Lakers’ bench.

Tuesday night time in Phoenix, Davis was in a position to keep within the sport, grabbing at his left elbow and repeatedly making an attempt to squeeze feeling into his left hand.

It was a reminder of the gamble the Lakers took greater than three years in the past once they dealt the long run for Davis — a wager that’s paid off with an NBA championship and offset with too many moments such because the one within the first half Tuesday in opposition to the Suns.

Davis alone wasn’t sufficient in a 115-105 loss to the Suns, the Lakers ice chilly from three and once more enjoying with out LeBron James. However Davis nonetheless was a lot — 37 factors, 21 rebounds, 5 blocks and 5 steals — persevering with a run of possibly his finest play for the reason that Lakers dealt for him.

Tuesday, Davis grew to become the primary participant in NBA historical past to attain at the least 35 factors, seize 20 rebounds, have 5 blocks and 5 steals for the reason that league began recording blocks and steals.

“He’s considered one of a sort,” Russell Westbrook mentioned. “At all times been that approach, in a position to imprint his sport in some ways.”

It was Davis’ fourth straight sport with at the least 30 and his fifth straight double-double.

He was nice; the harm, even briefly, threatened that.

“I don’t know if I got here down on his shoulder or one thing … simply misplaced feeling in my arm, my fingers and my hand,” Davis mentioned. “… My left hand, didn’t really want it a lot tonight.

“They mentioned I must let the nerve relax. I used to be like, ‘I don’t have the time to let the nerve relax.’”

The sport appeared determined when Patrick Beverley made his impression really felt as a Laker, working into and shoving Deandre Ayton when Ayton was standing over Austin Reaves, who was down after getting hit within the face by Booker.

Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker shoots a 3 pointer in opposition to Lakers’ Austin Reaves (15) through the first half in Phoenix on Tuesday.

(Darryl Webb / Related Press)

Beverley knocked over Ayton, tripping him over Reaves.

“We’ve received one another’s again,” Davis mentioned.

Booker was ultimately referred to as for a flagrant foul 1, Ayton for a technical foul and Beverley for a technical foul — with Beverley getting ejected for the primary time as a Laker.

Beverley mentioned he was unprofessional in his response and referred to as it a “very unlucky” incident, however he didn’t like Ayton and Booker “mean-mugging” Reaves.

“I adore it, personally,” Westbrook mentioned.

Incident apart, the Lakers didn’t get sufficient round Davis, with Beverley and Troy Brown Jr. — two of Darvin Ham’s starters — combining to overlook all seven of their photographs whereas scoring no factors. Beverley did seize 10 rebounds earlier than being kicked out of the sport.

The Lakers, who had been over 30% in every of their final six video games from three-point vary, had their worst capturing night time from deep in a month, making solely 4 of twenty-two (18.2%).

They survived within the sport due to Davis, 24 factors from Lonnie Walker and 21 from Westbrook and since the group made 29 of 35 from the free-throw line.

The Lakers restricted the Suns to 5 free-throw makes an attempt.

The Lakers missed James for the fifth straight sport since he was injured late in a loss to the Clippers. And although he may return when the Lakers play in San Antonio on Friday after Thanksgiving, Ham wasn’t committal.

“It’s been daily,” Ham mentioned. “He’s been in a position to get within the weight room and persevering with the strengthening course of. However simply daily. I advised him immediately, after we get to a spot the place we really feel snug going on the market, we’ll get there. The group, once more, we’ve further our bodies again in Dennis [Schroder] and Thomas [Bryant], in order that’s helped. And we’re in a great rhythm proper now so there’s no rush. There’s no panic mode.”

When requested about James returning, Ham declined to say.

“Circumstances change,” Ham mentioned pregame. “Knock on wooden … it’s an NBA season and once more, we don’t need to get too far forward of ourselves in how we plan issues out.”

Phoenix, which was with out Chris Paul, received 25 factors from Booker and 25 from Mikal Bridges.