Trailing by two points with slightly over two seconds remaining, Anthony Davis drained a game-winning three-pointer off an inbounds pass from Rajon Rondo to give the Lakers a 2-0 series lead over the Nuggets.
Running down the sideline to embrace his teammates, AD yelled the first word that came to mind: “KOBE!” Man, that’s hard! No better way to pay tribute.
It was the cherry on top of a dominant showing down the stretch in which Davis scored Los Angeles’ final 10 points, including a clutch runner roughly 24 seconds earlier, giving him 31 total on the night.
“People talk about, never been in this moment, pressure, am I ready for it?” AD said in a post-game interview. “I want to take those shots. It’s part of the legacy. I want those shots. I want the big-time plays. This is what they brought me here for – to make big-time plays.”
The big man opposite him, Nikola Jokic, went crazy, too, giving his squad 9 consecutive points at one point in the fourth and a buttery, go-ahead hook shot over Davis. He finished with 30 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds.
Davis’ teammate LeBron James seemed more than willing to let the former do his thing late in the game, part of his newfound mission to prove that the 16 votes he received for MVP were far too few.
“The voting scale is a little weird to me sometimes,” the 16x All-NBA selection said during a recent press conference. He continued, “I don’t know how much we are really watching the game of basketball, or are we just in the narrative.”