The Golden State Warriors and Jordan Poole learned a valuable lesson against the Los Angeles Lakers during their play-in game clash on Wednesday — don’t poke the bear.
Davis and the rest of the Lakers started out the game shooting miserably, falling behind by double-digits. Davis was 2-for-12 in the first half, while LeBron James was 1-of-7.
The Lakers found their rhythm in the second half and the catalyst might have been some trash talk from Poole and Juan Toscano-Anderson that gave Davis and James some extra juice.
“You never want to poke the bear,” Davis said. “And it’s funny, I told Jordan Poole that too. We both got the double techs, I came down and hit the mid-range and said ‘you woke me up.’ It’s playoff basketball. That’s what’s going to happen.
New video: Juan Toscano-Anderson and Jordan Poole helped get LeBron James and Anthony Davis going with their trash talk on Wednesday, adding intrigue to an already intense play-in game between the Lakers and Warriors. My mini essay for @sportscenter pic.twitter.com/hbd4gq8oZ9
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 20, 2021
“We’re confident enough in our games, especially when we’re struggling, that you never want to poke the bear. That’s playoff basketball. We love it. … It’s fun to trash talk, it kind of gets us going.”
Davis — who finished with 25 points on 24 shots with 12 rebounds — also had a quick troll for the Warriors on Instagram, responding with crying laughing emjois to coach Steve Kerr saying the Lakers “got a lot of doubt down there.”
Kerr commended Poole for his play against the Warriors and emerging as a key piece of the rotation for the Warriors.
“Yeah he’s just playing with great confidence and it’s great to see,” Kerr said, per Yahoo Sports. “I loved his decision making last night, loved his aggressiveness, loved that he tried to dunk on LeBron [James]. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to miss a big shot, because the only way you can make it is if you’re unafraid of the miss.”
LeBron James: Lakers Got Punched But Responded
Things were looking grim for the Lakers early on against the Warriors, but the defending champs were able to recover from their early stumbles.
“It was good to get that first punch,” James told reporters. “Mike Tyson always said, ‘Everybody got a plan until you get in the ring and you get punched.’
“We did that, and it felt good. It felt great. It settled us. It wasn’t comfortable, but it settled us, and we were able to bring the fight to them. We are looking forward to what is going to be in store for the postseason.”
The Lakers advance to take on the No. 2 seeded Phoenix Suns in the first round.
Anthony Davis Jokes About Lebron James Eye Issue
James took a literal blow to his face from Draymond Green in the second half, getting poked in the eye during the process. James ended up hitting the game-winning shot — although he said he was seeing “three rims” on his game-winner.
“After Draymond’s finger to the eye, I was literally seeing 3 rims out there. I just shot at the middle one…I definitely wasn’t leaving the floor, no matter if I had to put a pirate patch on my eye.”
Every angle of LeBron’s game-winning three over Steph + Postgame comments pic.twitter.com/cWd9yw5bq9
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 20, 2021
With the injury apparently not being too serious going forward, Davis had some jokes for his All-NBA teammate.
“First off I think we need to poke LeBron in his eye a lot more [if] his shots are like that,” Davis said after the game. “He’s done it his whole career, he’s done it since I’ve been knowing him. Hitting from that type of range, big shot, put us up three. Good defense by us knowing that they’re down three, and Steph is going be the guy to try and shoot it.”
Anthony Davis says jokingly: “I think we need to poke LeBron in the eye a lot more to hit shots like that.”
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) May 20, 2021
The main concern with James is his ankle. The four-time MVP missed 26 of the Lakers’ final 28 games recovering from a high-ankle sprain. James clapped back over a report from ESPN’s Marc J. Spears that he is “playing on one leg.”
“We need to be concerned about LeBron James. He was supposed to be the PG. I’m hearing he’s playing on one leg” 👀
— The Jump on ESPN (@NBATheJump) May 20, 2021
“I’m good. I told you guys I was good. I’m good. That’s the most minutes I’ve played in a long time and I didn’t feel anything on that play,” James said after logging 35 minutes. “Draymond’s finger or thumb or whatever went directly into my eye, and that’s why I was down. Just making sure I was okay, making sure I wasn’t bleeding and making sure I could see a little bit at least so I could finish the game.”
James will have to be seriously injured to miss any time in the postseason and some time off before the team’s series against the Suns should help. The Lakers are a 3-point favorite for Game 1 against Phoenix on Sunday.
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