LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Anthony Davis exited the Los Angeles Lakers’ 135-115 win in Game 4 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers early because of back spasms and did not return.
Davis subbed out of the game with 9:21 remaining in the third quarter and the Lakers up 91-53.
« I was just being aggressive, » Davis said. « My whole thing is just be aggressive for the rest of the time I’m here. I don’t want to come out and not be aggressive if the team needs me to be aggressive and I’ve been able to find spots where I’m very comfortable and just take my time and make shots. But also making the right reads. And guys are making shots. If we’re making shots from the perimeter, from outside the paint, it opens the floor up for everyone and I just got to take my time and make shots. »
He briefly went to the Lakers’ locker room. He returned with an electric stimulation device wrapped around his lower back and stood — rather than sat — by the Lakers bench as he watched the game. Davis had 18 points on 5-for-8 shooting, with 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. The Lakers’ plus-minus was plus-37 in the 18 minutes he played.
« Everybody can’t be at their best all the time, so I’ve been happy with how AD’s performed, » Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. « There’s been some nights where he’s been selfless, moved the basketball well. But he was absolutely dominant to start this game tonight. Just absolutely dominant. »
Davis scored 16 of his points in the first quarter, accounting for the most points he has scored in the first quarter of a playoff game in his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information. His eight made free throws in the first quarter were tied for the most free throw makes in any opening quarter of his career, including the regular season.
« I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plus-37 in 17 minutes type of performance like I did from Anthony Davis on both sides of the ball tonight, » Vogel said. « What he did defensively, he had one play where he had two deflections on both sides of the guy he was guarding and then dove on the floor and got a loose ball and got us going on the break. Several blocks, deflections, containment plays. He was all over the place on the defensive end and he was making everything. Just a dominant performance to start the game for us. »
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