One day after dropping just the fourth 50-point performance for a Laker since 2000, forward Anthony Davis was named NBA Western Conference player of the week on Monday.
Davis averaged 35 points per game on 63.3% shooting with eight rebounds, 2.5 assists, two blocks and 1.8 steals as the league-leading Lakers (21-3) won four straight games this past week. After road wins at Denver (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Utah (26 points), he capped the three-game road sweep with 39 points against Portland on Friday. But he saved his best for last as he recorded his fourth career 50-point game in Sunday’s 142-125 win over Minnesota at Staples Center. He added seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in the win.
“He’s an animal, man,” Lakers guard Alex Caruso said Sunday. “We keep talking about how good he is, and he keeps improving, getting better and better and looking better and better.”
This is the second time this season Davis has been named conference player of the week and his first since Nov. 4, which was the first time a Lakers player had earned the distinction since Kobe Bryant in the 2012-13 season. Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and current teammate LeBron James are the only Lakers since 2000 to score 50 points in a game.
Davis made 20 of 29 shots against the Timberwolves and all 10 of his free throws. The high-scoring performance came without a single made three-pointer. Coach Frank Vogel called it an “old-school performance and one for the ages.”
Off to their best start since the 2008-09 season, the Lakers now begin a five-game road trip Wednesday at Orlando.