Danny Suriel/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON — Despite the presence of one of the best to ever take the hardwood in LeBron James, many basketball pundits continue to believe that the Los Angeles Lakers’ metronome for success must be an Anthony Davis playing at an All-Star level. Over the last couple of weeks, AD has been on an MVP level, and that has coincided with the Lakers starting to round into form after a rough beginning to the season.

Davis exploded for 55 points and also had 17 rebounds in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to their third consecutive victory, a 130-119 victory over the Washington Wizards inside Capital One Arena on Sunday night. LeBron James had 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Russell Westrook had 15 assists in 28 minutes coming off the bench.

The Lakers have won five of their last six and are 8-2 in their last 10 games, scoring at least 115 points in eight of those 10 contests. This comes on the heels of Los Angeles starting 2-10 on the season and many writing the Lakers’ epitaph for the 2022-23 season before Thanksgiving.

“Our team is locked in right now,” said Davis, whose career high was 59 points against Detroit while a member of the New Orleans Pelicans in 2016. “Very focused on both sides of the ball. Overall, we’re just trying to make up ground.”

Davis is locked in to say the very least, as he’s averaging 35.3 points per game in his last nine contests, which included a 44-point, 10-rebound, three-block outing in Milwaukee on Friday night. Los Angeles took a six-point lead, 33-27, into the second quarter and built upon it before eventually taking a 68-50 lead into the half. The lead grew as big as 29, 85-56, in the third quarter and the Wizards, despite cutting the lead down to nine points just past the midway point of the fourth, did not seriously threaten for the rest of the game.

“We never tipped over the glass when things weren’t going well,” James said. “We just continued to work. Continued to get better. Understood that we’re a new team being put together. New coaching staff, new system. We had to figure out some things. We haven’t done anything. We want to continue to work.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday evening’s game, with all photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Danny Suriel. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 37 pictures in total.

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