(Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis has been making the most of his first trip to the NBA Finals with a pair of spectacular performances that have left him two wins shy of a maiden championship and with a grip on the series’ MVP trophy.
Davis has decimated the Miami Heat defense in the best-of-seven NBA Finals and averaged 33 points and 11.5 rebounds as the Lakers jumped into a 2-0 series lead. Game Three is on Sunday.
“There’s no one in the NBA that can check him one-on-one,” Lakers guard Rajon Rondo said after Friday’s game.
“When the double comes he’s making great reads, he’s getting the guys the ball on time, on target. And, like I said, when we play through him he’s unstoppable.”
Davis was already one of the NBA’s elite players when the Lakers acquired him last July in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, but he has blossomed further while playing alongside LeBron James in Los Angeles.
In the series opener, Davis scored a game-high 34 points, was a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line and added nine rebounds and five assists. In Game Two, Davis made 14 of his first 15 shots en route to a 32-point night.
By doing so, Davis joined Kevin Durant (2012), Michael Jordan (1991), Rick Barry (1967) and Hal Greer (1967) as the only players in league history to score 30-plus points in their first two the NBA Finals appearances.
“He is one of the most unstoppable players in the league,” said Lakers’ guard Alex Caruso. “I love watching it because I know he is unstoppable whenever he wants to be.
“It’s hard for defenses to cover him just because of his versatility. It’s been a blessing to be his team mate. He takes a lot of the pressure off of us because he is so good.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)