Anthony Davis leads Lakers to win after reassuring Darvin Ham, ‘I got your back’

Anthony Davis leads Lakers to win after reassuring Darvin Ham, ‘I got your back’

LOS ANGELES — Feeling the pressure of a 2-10 start to his tenure as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham received some words of reassurance from All-Star big man Anthony Davis heading into the game Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets.

“Had a real good conversation with [Davis] after our last game, our last loss,” Ham said following the Lakers’ 116-103 win over the Nets that snapped a five-game losing streak. “And he just said, ‘I got your back, Coach.’ And that was huge for me being a first-time head coach and having a player of that magnitude just constantly try and do everything you ask him to do.”

Davis had Ham’s back — and had Brooklyn’s number, filling up the stat sheet with season highs in both points (37) and rebounds (18).

Davis, who already was enjoying a bounce-back season after missing more than half of the Lakers’ games over the past two seasons because of injuries, had gone missing in the second half during several recent losses.

Before the contest Sunday, Ham said it was on Davis to remedy the lack of touches on his own.

“Just him demanding the ball,” Ham said. “It starts with that.”

It actually started before the game for Davis. An avid Green Bay Packers fan, Davis said he was motivated by seeing Green Bay upset the Dallas Cowboys.

“I was watching the Packers game before … and Aaron Rodgers threw a slant to Allen Lazard, he ran for like 40 yards. And he started [screaming] and flexing and all that, and it got me some motivation before the game,” Davis said. “Just trying to dominate. Be dominant. Knowing that we had to get this win, knowing that a lot of guys — especially with [LeBron James] out — a lot of guys lean on me to try to get the job done.”

Davis went 15-for-25 from the field — with 23 of his attempts coming inside the paint — and 7-for-7 from the free throw line.

“I was trying to get to the paint and score inside, knowing that they had limited shot-blocking,” Davis said. “When you set the screen, our guards attack downhill, attack [Nic] Claxton gold [Markieff] Morris and just put it on the rim. They miss, then I have a guard on me, so I have a chance for an opportunity for an offensive rebound and get a score there.”

Davis had more offensive rebounds individually (10) than the Nets had as a team (eight).

“AD played like a monster tonight,” Lakers point guard Patrick Beverley said. “And everyone played off of him.”

The Lakers hope to have everyone available for the first time all season in their next game against the Detroit Pistons at home Friday.

James has missed the past two tilts with a left groin strain, and Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant have yet to make their season debut while they both recover from thumb surgery.

By virtue of a scheduling quirk, the Lakers will get four days off this week without a game to rest, rehab and prepare for the Pistons.

“We wanted to win tonight, for sure. Let us feel good going into this off week before Friday’s game,” Davis said. “It gives a chance for guys to kind of get away from the game for a couple days and reset and come back with a mentality that we got to run off some [wins] in a row.”

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