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Lakers offense limited after Davis runs into foul trouble

Agence France-Presse

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Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against Andre Iguodala #28 of the Miami Heat during the first half in Game Three of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on October 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.. (AFP)

Anthony Davis is used to shouldering much of the scoring load for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he says getting in foul trouble early in game three of the NBA Finals took away his effectiveness.

“It had an impact. I picked up two (fouls) early, come back in, and get the third. So it takes away the aggressiveness on both ends of the floor that I’m used to playing with,” said Davis. “It definitely took me out and put too much pressure on the other guys.”

Davis, who is playing in his first NBA Finals, scored a combined 66 points in games one and two against the Miami Heat but finished with just 15 points in 32 minutes in Sunday’s game three defeat.

Davis finished with four fouls and five turnovers as the Lakers blew a golden opportunity to take a stranglehold 3-0 lead by losing 115-104 to the Heat in the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

“The turnovers, I had four (actually five). I missed communication on some passes, but I just have to be better overall.

“We’ll be fine. We made shots. We didn’t defend at all tonight. They made big shots. Made some good plays. Trust me, we’ll be fine.”

Davis picked up his first foul on an offensive charge with just under five minutes left in the first quarter. He had four turnovers in the first quarter, including three in a 66 second span.

“I just have to be better at both ends of the floor,” he said. “The team relies on me to bring the energy to start the game and when you pick up two fouls, guys come in earlier, things like that.”

Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel said the fouls disrupted the Lakers’ offensive flow, but they should have been able to rise above it.

“I think that impacted us some, but we’ve been in foul trouble before, and you have to play through it,” Vogel said.

“That’s part of the game. We see that all throughout the course of the season and in the playoffs, and you have to be able to adapt and adjust.

“Probably had a small factor on our offensive rhythm, but we’ve just got to be better overall on both ends.”

Davis said he can see plenty of room for improvement in the Lakers’ defense in game four on Tuesday.

“We were getting confused on a lot of things,” he said. “They had wide open looks.

“We let Jimmy (Butler) get into a strong hand too many times, getting to the basket, or getting to the free throw line. We were letting guys get to the rim easily with no contact.

“We didn’t play well defensively late in the game. They made us pay.”

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