Lakers ride Davis’ hot hand into Dallas

With Anthony Davis possessing a hot hand, the Los Angeles Lakers look to continue their strong start on a three-game road trip beginning Friday against the Dallas Mavericks.Davis’ 40 point, 20-rebound effort in three quarters in a 120-91 rout of the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday allowed the 6-foot-10 forward to become the first Lakers player to put up those numbers since Shaquille O’Neal delivered against the Boston Celtics in 2003.The Lakers emerged with their third consecutive win after a season-opening loss.Davis set a club mark for free throws made, converting 26 of 27, breaking the record of Dwight Howard during his first stint with the Lakers. Howard made 25 of 39 free throws in March 2013 against the Orlando Magic. Davis is shooting 88.9 percent from the foul line this season.And Davis became the third Lakers player to score 100 points, block 10 shots and dish out 10 assists in his first four games with the franchise. O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the other two.”I don’t even think he’s scratched the surface yet,” LeBron James, who finished with 23 points and eight assists against the Grizzlies, said regarding Davis. “I think we’re all still getting comfortable with one another. I think he’s still getting comfortable out on the floor, but when he’s attacking like that, guy shoots high in the 80s, 90s from the free-throw line, that’s easy money for him. … He was wonderful (Tuesday), spectacular in all facets, both offensively and defensively, and we needed it.”Davis, who is averaging 28.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and three blocks, produced despite playing with a sore shoulder. He was clearly in pain throughout the game but powered through it.”I was really trying to figure it all out,” Davis said. “It was bothering me a lot. It was very sore, but I didn’t want to come out of the game.”Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, who missed all four of the initial contests, will make his season debut against the Mavericks. Kuzma, who averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds last season, has been out with a stress reaction in his left foot, an injury that occurred while he was trying to make the USA Basketball squad this summer.Dallas is off to 3-1 start, the first time that has happened since the 2014-15 campaign. Nine Mavericks reached double figures in a 109-106 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.Mavericks forward Dorian-Finney Smith, who had 12 points against the Nuggets, said via the Dallas Morning News, “It just shows you how deep we are. Whenever anybody’s name is called, they’re ready to play.”Guard-forward Luka Doncic, who had an off night against the Nuggets, scoring 12 points on 3-for-12 shooting, leads in the Mavericks in scoring at 25 points per game. He also is averaging 8.8 rebounds, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals.Power forward Kristaps Porzingis’ return from an ACL injury also has boosted Mavericks. He averages 22.3 points, 7.8 boards and 2.5 blocks per contest.Dallas power forward Dwight Powell made his season debut against the Nuggets after a hamstring injury sidelined him since training camp. Powell finished with four points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.After the Lakers face the Mavericks, they travel to San Antonio to meet the Spurs on Sunday before closing the trip at the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. The Mavericks will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.