LOS ANGELES – LeBron James or Anthony Davis. One of them is likely to doom you when you play the Lakers. It’s just a matter of picking your preferred poison.
On Sunday in a 142-125 loss to the Lakers, the Wolves chose Davis, with a shot of James.
Davis became the third player to post 50 points on the Wolves this season while James was no slouch either with 32 points and 13 assists.
Davis was an especially efficient 20 of 29 shooting and 10 of 10 from the free-throw line. He did a lot of work around the basket, and the Wolves had no answer for him defensively. Their main lineup with Robert Covington at the four didn’t quite hold up with Davis and JaVale McGee at center while the big-bodied James was there to inflict damage. It was a bad matchup all around.
“We’re blessed to be in the West. It’s a gift and a curse,” center Karl-Anthony Towns said. “The gift is we see so much pick and roll with top players, there’s something you’re always adjusting to. They have a good rapport and are playing well.
When asked what Davis did especially well, coach Ryan Saunders replied: “Everything. He can score inside, he can score outside. You saw it. Everything.”
James has foul trouble in the first half that limited him to 28 minutes, but he made the most of those minutes. He was a plus-24 for the game while increasing his league high assist average with 13.
The pair were especially lethal in pick and roll situations that were almost impossible for the Wolves to defend.
“If you’re mixing it up and trying to take [James] away, take his playmaking ability away, you’re kind of giving up Anthony Davis at times too,” Saunders said. “It’s one of those things that, like you said, you kind of pick your poison.”
Okogie heating up from deep
It has been a struggle for Josh Okogie to find his shooting touch from deep early in his NBA tenure. But there have been some encouraging signs of late. Okogie may only be shooting 29% for his career, but he has shot much better of late. He went 3-for-5 against the Lakers (and was fouled shooting another).
Over his last six games, Okogie is 9-for-17. It’s a sample size, but at least it’s moving in the direction the Wolves want to see.