"There's no way we're winning a match, let alone a string, with me playing with the way which I played" Davis said after finishing with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. "So, I mean, this is on me. I take full responsibility, for certain.
"We will be better Game two "
He said that L.A.'s hot beginning -- that the Lakers built their largest lead of the match when they travelled up 15-10 only 41/2 minutes to the first quarter -- lessened his private urgency.
"Usually, I come out the gates quite dominant, and I believe tonight, or today, we had it going," Davis stated. "So, I kind of just got lost in the crime. But I still have to be assertive and find ways to get the ball.
"It just kind of took me out of rhythm, but that's on me. I still got to figure out ways to make plays on this end of the ground, offensively. So, like I said, it is on me. I am not overly worried about my performance. I understand I will be better. I know we will be better in Game 2."
LeBron James said the reason behind a reduction is"never only 1 man," but he welcomed Davis' accountability.
"I love it when AD requires that pressure on himself," said James, who led L.A. with 18 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. "We are a much better team when he is aggressive; we are a much better team when he needs the ball. However, most of us must do things a whole lot better, as well."
Davis demonstrated his ability to bounce back last year's run to the championship. In the 3 games Davis played in the 2020 postseason after a contest where he shot under 50 percent from the field, he averaged 31.7 points on 57% shooting and L.A. went 2-1.
"Anytime he comes to the strain and tells you men we can't win with him playing how he played, he always responds," James stated. "So, looking ahead to that. And when AD is AD again, we'll be the Lakers."
Davis was outplayed by fellow former No. 1 draft pick Deandre Ayton. In the struggle of reverse osmosis -- AD vs. DA -- the Suns centre finished with 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting and 16 rebounds and has been plus-16 in 37 minutes in his playoff debut.
"I thought DA was pretty sound as far as not going for pump fakes and using his rod hand upward," Suns coach Monty Williams said. "Anthony missed several shots, but I believed DA did a really good job of merely trying to remain in front of him. He's an all-world player, therefore DA is going to have to be better in Game 2. We all know what we're going to face when we play these guys ."
It was a far cry from Davis' final regular-season performance against Phoenix just two weeks ago, when he had 42 points and 12 rebounds at a 123-110 win for the Lakers.
"Phoenix brought a whole lot more attention to him, obviously due to the game," Lakers coach Frank Vogel explained. "They did a great job. They did a good job limiting his touches and then bringing double-teams when he did catch it and making matters hard for him. But there are ways we could be better to take advantage of him."
To Vogel's stage, L.A. shot just 2-for-6 (including a 1 to 5 mark on 3-pointers) from Davis' moves on Sunday, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information. For the match, the Lakers shot just 7-for-26 on 3s (26.9%) and 17-for-28 on free throws (60.7%).
It will be on more gamers than just Davis to enhance in order to prevent an 0-2 hole come Tuesday.
"I believe we have taken out of a great deal of things we want to do offensively, Phoenix having a week to get ready for us," Vogel said, alluding to the play-in tournament that L.A. needed to navigate to guarantee the No. 7 seed while the Suns were away. "Credit them for doing a great job with that. We just must do a little bit better on the offensive side of the ball"