LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — After his shot dropped to beat the buzzer, win the game and lift the Los Angeles Lakers to within two victories of their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, Anthony Davis shouted out one word that said it all: “Kobe!”
Davis’ 3-pointer from the left wing won the game 105-103 as time expired, put L.A. up 2-0 over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals and improved L.A.’s postseason record to 3-0 when wearing the alternative “Black Mamba” uniforms, which Kobe Bryant helped design several years before his death.
“Obviously, we’re representing him,” said Davis, who scored 10 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter. “Especially in those jerseys. It’s his jersey, one he created, and any time we put it on, we want to win.”
Lakers coach Frank Vogel reminded his team late in the fourth quarter of the power of their uniforms, which was picked up on the TNT telecast during a huddle as the Nuggets mounted a comeback. “He said, ‘Look at the jerseys you have on. He would have made big-time plays. So it’s time for us to make big-time plays,'” Davis said, paraphrasing Vogel. “Just looking down at the jersey and Coach telling us, it’s a constant reminder that Kobe is with us, and we kind of have the spirit in those jerseys.”
- Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer