Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis received “MVP” chants from fans at the Capital One Arena after he scored 55 points in the 130-119 win over Washington Wizards.
As the ball fell through the hoop late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, Davis racked up his 49th and 50th point of the night, as cries of “M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!” rung around the Capital One Arena.
Davis, who finished with 55 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots in LA’s convincing victory over the Wizards, has quietly been in such form for a while, and is finally receiving plaudits for his contributions from fans and team-mates alike.
“He’s been unbelievable, man,” LeBron James said. “On both sides of the floor. I mean, playing like the MVP of this league. Just straight dominance.”
Lakers starting guard Patrick Beverley echoed the sentiment, stating “when you’re talking about people in the MVP race or category, [Davis] should be up there, for sure”.
Davis’ performance against the Wizards was the second-most points he has ever scored in a game, and though the points are flowing, the Lakers star isn’t eyeing personal glory.
When asked whether his goals for the season now include earning his first Maurice Podoloff Trophy, he said: “I put the team first over any individual awards or accolades that come with it. So, if we continue to do what we do and win basketball games, the rest will take care of itself.”
It certainly seems that way. After a torrid start to the season where the Lakers were 6-0, there has been a significant shift in mood, with Sunday’s victory over the Wizards being their eighth win in the past 10 games, lifting their record to 10-12 (just two games behind the defending-champion Golden State Warriors currently No. 6 in the Western Conference).
Some of that has been down to Davis, who is averaging 35.3 points a game, but the contributions of James and others like Lonnie Walker IV, have been critical, both to his performance and the teams’.
If he remains fit, there’s no reason why Los Angeles shouldn’t be securing themselves a playoff spot, giving Davis and the Lakers a chance to prove their doubters wrong.
Head coach Darvin Ham agreed as much: “The first and foremost thing is his health. I think he’s feeling great, his body is feeling great. He’s had a few back issues early on, but he’s worked his way through them, and you can just see it in his face, as well as see it in his play. He’s having fun playing the game of basketball pain-free. And the guys know it. They know I make him a top priority in terms of who we need to play through.”
The Lakers will have a chance to put him to the test again on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.