AD posts historic line as Lakers ‘hitting our stride’

AD posts historic line as Lakers ‘hitting our stride’

LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis put up a historic stat line — his 27 points, 25 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists and 3 blocks had never been replicated before in the league — and the Los Angeles Lakers downed another top-tier opponent by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-109 on Sunday.

The win over the Western Conference’s No. 2 team capped off a week in which L.A. also came out victorious against the West’s No. 1 team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 team, the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I think we’re hitting our stride right now,” Davis said after the win lifted the Lakers to six games above .500 for the first time all season. “We’re just trying to keep going, keep pushing, knowing that just like last year, all we got to do is get in. We feel like it’s tough for anybody to beat us in a seven-game series. … We like our chances against anybody at that point.”

Davis came into the night listed as questionable with left shoulder soreness from a collision with the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo on Friday. The Lakers medical staff wrapped Davis’ shoulder with a heat pack when he was subbed out of the game and on the bench.

“I felt it at times out there,” Davis said of his shoulder soreness. “I still kind of feel it.”

Davis made his presence felt against a Minnesota team missing its two star big men in Rudy Gobert (right hamstring) and Karl-Anthony Towns (left knee).

“A Hall of Fame performance,” Lakers wingman Taurean Prince said of Davis’ night, in which he became the first player with at least 25 points, 25 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals in a game since steals became an official stat in 1973-74.

It was such a great game for Davis that LeBron James returning from a sore left ankle to put up 29 points on 10-for-16 shooting, 9 assists and 8 rebounds was completely overshadowed.

Davis’ 7 steals were a career high and the most by a Lakers player since Lou Williams in December 2015. Davis’ rebounding total was one shy of his career high and the most by a Lakers player since Dwight Howard in January 2013.

And Davis did it the day before his 31st birthday.

“It was before my birthday, so I guess we can [count it],” Davis said. “It’s actually the first time I’m able to celebrate my birthday in my entire career at, like, home. On my actual birthday.”

L.A. is No. 9 in the West with 16 games remaining — just two games behind the No. 6 Phoenix Suns. The Lakers have stated their goal is to avoid the play-in tournament by finishing the season sixth or better.

“Regardless of where we stand, if we go put our best foot forward and play the basketball that we know we can play … I think if you go ask anybody in our locker room, we’re super confident with what we have,” Lakers guard Austin Reaves said.

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