On a night where the struggling Lakers were an 8.5-point underdog against the reigning Western Conference champions Pheonix Suns (the title they took away from the Lakers last season), Anthony Davis added more fuel to the fire.
Davis, who is currently sidelined due to a significant right ankle injury he suffered last February, believes that the only reason the Suns beat the Lakers in last year's playoffs was his groin injury — one of many physical setbacks he's suffered in the past 12 months.
"It was … We know that. They know that … They got away with one," Davis, who addressed the media before Sunday's tip-off, said.
As expected, The Brow's statement didn't sit well with the Suns who were down (2-1) in the series before AD went down with a groin injury. They used his statement as motivation not just to beat the Lakers but obliterate them on their home floor on Sunday.
Davis' sentiments were ironic because Sunday's game was his 26th missed game of the season.
The Suns, who currently lead the Western Conference standings, dominated the Lakers from the get-go. Led by Devin Booker's 30 points, Phoenix scored a season-high 79 (!!) points by halftime along with 23 assists, 44 points in the paint, 17 points out of turnovers, and 23 fast-break points.
The game looked like it was over before it even started.
By the second half, it seemed as if the Suns were playing a pick-up game at that point, thanks to the Lakers' non-existent defense all night (or all season for that matter).
The Suns' starters clocked out early and were seen laughing and making jokes on the bench. The home team led by as many as 35 points as they made Davis' statements sound foolish.
Devin Booker claps back
After Sunday's match, the best player of the game, Booker, was asked if he and the team noted Davis' comments. Booker smiled sarcastically and said his team would have dominated the Lakers anyway in the same fashion, even if Davis kept his sentiments to himself.
"If 'if' was a fifth, we'd all be drunk. ... There's a lot of if's in this game. And you look at history along the lines, there's something that comes up for every team during every season. Instead of just taking the high route and going, you have to make a comment like that," Booker said.
AD takes accountability
Davis, who also sat out 17 games due to an MCL sprain early in the season, acknowledged that he's a big reason as to why the Lakers have struggled all year. He knows that his long battle with injuries is due to uncontrollable accidents. But AD is well-aware that he has to be better and needs to do everything he can to maximize the next few seasons with his partner in crime, LeBron James.
"We have a very short window," Davis said. "We don't know how long he has left in this league. Phenomenal player, future Hall of Famer, and to be able to play alongside him, you want to take advantage of it. We did the first year. Last year we both were banged up, and then this year, it's [injuries] again but more so me. So every day it's closing. That's another frustrating part. A lot of guys don't get to play with talent like that. I have the opportunity to do so. I want to take advantage of that time."
Another season for the Lakers' James and Davis era is likely going to waste. There are a lot of factors as to why the Lakers are here, but a significant reason is because of Davis' long list of injuries.
Only time will tell if AD can bounce back from this and prove that he's still one of the best players in the game. But his time playing alongside James is running out. So he better get back to his old self as soon as possible. Maybe then he can also prove that the Suns did indeed get away with one last season.