Anthony Davis regrets missing free throws after the Lakers lost to the Celtics.


Anthony Davis slumped in his chair inside the Lakers locker room late Tuesday night, his knees wrapped in ice, his head bobbing at times, his lips pursed, the pain and despair registered on his face from having missed two key free throws with the game there for the taking for the Lakers over the hated Boston Celtics.

Davis clasped has hands together, closed his eyes and leaned his head back, his body still slouched. Lakers coach Darvin Ham walked over to his center and slapped Davis on the chest and offered words of encouragement.

Austin Reaves also came over and slapped hands with Davis, who then crossed his arms afterward. A few seconds later, Davis rested his head in his left hand.

There was nothing anyone could say to Davis on this night to soothe over his hurt feelings of letting the Lakers’ faithful down, his teammates down, himself down.

All Davis had to do was make his two free throws with 28.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Lakers would have had a four-point lead. They would have pulled out a game in which the Lakers once trailed by 20 points in the third quarter.

But he didn’t.

And after Jason Tatum drilled a 15-foot fade-away with 17.8 seconds remaining in the fourth to tie the score, the Lakers went cold in the extra period and wound up losing 122-118 in overtime before 18,661 fans at Arena.

Davis had been stellar all game, his 37 points, 12 rebounds and three assists a big reason why they were in this game.

He had played a game-high 46 minutes, one second — and all 29 minutes of the second half that included the five-minute overtime.

None of that mattered to Davis.

“I haven’t thought about the rest of the game,” said Davis, who was 11 for 15 from the free-throw line. “Make two free throws, go up four, different ball game. To me, the rest doesn’t matter. Had a chance to ice the game and missed both.”

Davis had been in this position before, needing to make two free throws against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night to give the Lakers the lead and a potential win.

But Davis made just one of the two free throws, tying the score at 120-120 with 3.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers lost that game in overtime, too.

Davis was able to bounce back from that moment two days later, scoring 34 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and handing out seven assists to help the Lakers defeat Detroit.

He’s got two days off before the Lakers host the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

“Got two days. Pretty sure I’ll be over it by then,” Davis said. “Just tough. I mean, Boston is a great team. Philly’s a great team. Two great teams in the East. Got a chance as a team, but me personally, to kinda seal both games. Missed one in Philly, missed both tonight. Both resulted in losses. I know it’s more to it in the game, where you can point things out, lead with four minutes and all that, but we’ve got to do a better job executing in that situation, playing with the lead late in the game. But, for me, you go back to the free throws — Philly, go up one, no timeouts, full court. And then go up four, two-possession game. That’s where my head is right now.”

Davis found even more support in the form of LeBron James.

Davis had entered the game shooting 83.2% from the free-throw line, showing that he is one of the best free-throw shooters on the team.

That he was upset with missing the two against the Celtics showed James a lot about how much Davis cares about the game.

“That just means he loves the game,” James said. “I mean, if it was the other way around and he was in there smiling then you would be questioning what type of teammate you got.

“So, I know who I’m rocking with every single night. So, I’m absolutely OK with the way he’s feeling. Got a couple of days off. Hopefully he leaves it in here. If not, take the car ride home and try not to take it in the house. But [if there is] just one guy on this ballclub that I love going to the free-throw line in the clutch it’s AD. He’s been on the other side a lot more times in our four years together by closing out games at the free-throw line than on the other side. So, not worried about it one bit.”

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