Anthony Davis leads the Lakers’ win over the Grizzlies after Pau Gasol’s jersey is retired

Lakers forward Anthony Davis pulls down one of his 22 rebounds Tuesday night against the Grizzlies. He scored 30 points in the Lakers’ win. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

They are to the right of the banners they helped earn, the numbers of some of basketball’s most dominant big men to ever play in this league.

George Mikan’s No. 99 is two spots to the left of Wilt Chamberlain’s No. 13. A row just below that is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s No. 33. Below and to the left is Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 34.

And on Tuesday, after helping the Lakers win a pair of championships, the curtain came down on Pau Gasol’s No. 16. Fittingly, it will reside directly to the right of Kobe Bryant’s No. 24.

Seeing the revelation, Gasol shook his head and wiped tears from his eyes.

“To the city of LA, to the nation of the Lakers, I love you, I love you deeply,” Gasol said from midcourt. “I love you forever, thank you for making me feel so special, it’s been an honor, it really has been.

“Thank you.”

The festivities surrounding the game with the Memphis Grizzlies were full of emotional trips to the Lakers’ past, moments that would have been impossible without Gasol’s presence alongside Bryant.

The gift? It rests on the player the Lakers have counted on to be the next in line among their giants.

Fans chanted “MVP” when Anthony Davis went to the free throw line late in the fourth quarter, a minute before he and the Lakers finished off the Grizzlies 112-103.

“I actually told Pau I want to be up there one day, too,” Davis said. “…I want to be in that category, that group.”

The Lakers are alone in ninth place in the Western Conference and are two games under .500.

Davis’ tip-in iced the game in the final seconds and capped a 30-point, 22-rebound performance.

When asked about his thoughts on Davis, coach Darvin Ham drew inspiration from the rafters.

“Withered?” Ham joked. “…Totally Wilt Davis. He plays like a monster.”

In the first quarter, Davis looked the part of one of the team’s all-time greats, dominating every inch of the court in the way that made him one of the NBA’s best two-way talents.

By the time he checked out with 30 seconds left in the quarter, he had already scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds, easily en route to another double-double.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves handles the ball while Memphis Grizzlies forward Xavier Tillman and guard John Konchar defend.

Lakers guard Austin Reaves, right, handles the ball as Memphis Grizzlies forward Xavier Tillman (2) and guard John Konchar (46) defend during the second half at Arena on Tuesday. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

It was another moment of dominance, the kind that has been happening more and more at a time when his team needs it most.

LeBron James remains injured and D’Angelo Russell, the natural next in line to take over, is still working his way back.

Davis was forced out of the game by an accidental right hook from Memphis rookie David Roddy, the left side of his nose bleeding as he went to the locker room to be treated.

Without him on the court, the Lakers struggled, the Ja Morant-less Grizzlies played with plenty of fight. All-Star Jaren Jackson Jr. lived in the paint and at the line, and Memphis moved ahead by as many as six.

But in the fourth quarter, when the Lakers pulled away, Davis was back in the spotlight. He ran the floor and scored, he sank free throws and hit jumpers. And on a play that electrified the crowd, he grabbed a rebound over Jackson, led the fastbreak and found Rui Hachimura for a basket.

Hachimura and Austin Reaves each scored 17 off the Lakers’ bench, and Dennis Schroder added 17 and nine assists as the Lakers won for the sixth time in their last eight games.

Help may come soon. Russell was upgraded to questionable Monday, but was ruled out before Tuesday’s game. He went through a full-speed workout before the game with Lakers trainers and could be on track for a return Friday against Toronto.

That could be a reason to celebrate. However, Tuesday belonged to Gasol.

After a private pregame ceremony, Gasol addressed the media from the same room he sat in after the Lakers’ 2010 NBA championship.

“Tonight, it’s just — the anticipation, the excitement, the honor that I’ve received, it’s so big for me that it’s going to be really hard to take in,” Gasol said. “I have to remind myself that it’s a party, it’s great, it’s nice. It’s amazing that you can experience this in your life and have so many people around you who have followed you and joined you and been by your side on your journey.”

From there, he was honored with a couple of videos during the second quarter. The first, a highlights compilation of his career, ended with a standing ovation for a tearful Gasol. The second video included Phil Jackson and former teammates Sasha Vujacic, Derek Fisher and Metta Sandiford-Artest.

At halftime, after the Lakers unveiled his No. 16 next to Bryant’s No. 24, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, general manager Rob Pelinka and Vanessa Bryant joined Gasol’s family on the court for the official ceremony.

“It’s something very special,” Gasol said before the game.

It was Tuesday. And so was Davis.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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