LeBron on Anthony Davis' Lakers return: Just his presence impacts this team | Inquirer Sports
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LeBron on Anthony Davis’ Lakers return: Just his presence impacts this team

/ 05:34 PM January 26, 2022
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) and forward Anthony Davis (3) on the court during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. The Warriors won 121-114.

FILEPHOTO–Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) and forward Anthony Davis (3) on the court. Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James scored a team-high 33 points and Anthony Davis returned to spark the offense as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 106-96 on Tuesday in New York.

James shot 14-of-21 from the floor and added seven rebounds and six assists for the Lakers, who have lost five of their last eight and are struggling to maintain a .500 win-loss record this season in the Western Conference standings.

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Davis played his first game since injuring his knee in a 110-92 loss to Minnesota on December 17 and finished with eight points. Davis had a dunk on the game’s first possession and played 25 minutes.

The Lakers went 7-10 while Davis was sidelined, with LeBron carrying the offensive load.

“Just his presence impacts this ball club,” James said of the superstar forward.

“He adds another dynamic player on the floor. You can’t have all the eyes on myself, Russ (Westbrook) and Melo (Carmelo Anthony).”

James said he used the motivation of playing in New York to ignite the fire inside him. The last time the Lakers played in New York, LeBron was serving a suspension for fighting.

Jan 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge (21) during the third quarter at Barclays Center.

Jan 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge (21) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

“I missed my first appearance in New York because of a suspension. Hopefully, I make them proud,” he said of the fans who cheered him on Tuesday.

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Malik Monk hit six threes and added 22 points as the Lakers shot 47.2 percent from the field. Westbrook added 15 points and Anthony chipped in 13.

Tuesday’s loss continued a string of inconsistent performances by the Nets, who were missing all-stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Durant sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the second quarter of their 120-105 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans on January 15.

Irving has been banned from playing home games by New York City health officials because he refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

With those two out, the Nets are leaning on James Harden, who bounced back from one of his worst games of the season with a triple-double of 33 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against the Lakers.

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TAGS: Anthony Davis, Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
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