Los Angeles Lakers players LeBron James and Anthony Davis did well in the first three-quarters of the basketball game against Stephen Curry and Golden State. But it was not a good thing for their new players, including L.A. native and former league MVP Russell Westbrook. Curry, a two-time MVP, had 21 points, ten rebounds, and ten assists for the Warriors. They were down by 10 points at one point in the game, but we won 121-114.
The Lakers were scoring well in the fourth quarter, but then they stopped. They gave up their lead halfway through the period. James had 34 points and 11 rebounds. Davis also had 33 points and 11 rebounds. No one else scored more than 10 points for the Lakers.
“Those two guys were good,” said the coach, Frank Vogel. “We’re going to be pretty good if we get performances like that. We just have to be better defensively. Everybody has to find their way a little bit.”
Westbrook shot four baskets out of 13 for 8 points in his Lakers debut. “It will be a little bit of an adjustment for him,” Vogel said. “He’s coming into our culture and system; he’s the new guy. He has to find his way – it will be difficult when he is used to being the player with the ball most of the time and playing off others like LeBron and A.D.”
James and Davis said they tried to make Westbrook feel better after the game. I told Russ to go home and watch a comedy. It will make him happy. I do not want him to be so hard on himself. The Lakers had a lead at the end of the third quarter. Kent Bazemore made a shot, and we had an 84-74 lead. But then, the Warriors started to catch up.
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We did not do well in the quarters. If you give up 38 points in one quarter, you will probably lose most nights. Our defense is not on a string yet. We did a good job on Steph in the first half, but our defense was not as good in the second half.
Curry made three free throws in the final seconds of the third quarter. Jordan Poole and Damion Lee made 3-point shots early in the fourth quarter. Poole made a layup with 9 minutes left, and the Warriors were ahead. He had 20 points. The Warriors won 98-90 before the Lakers twice got close again, but they didn’t win after that.
But Curry and Nemanja Bjelica both hit 3-pointers. Bjelica had 15 points, as well as 11 rebounds. And Lee also scored 15 points! In the second half, we did not turn the ball over. That helped us maintain the pace and give ourselves some good looks. The fact that all players who were on the floor contributed in a meaningful way speaks to our team’s depth and how we want to play going forward. We are excited about it and proud of our 1-0 start.
Davis and James played a lot of the game. They welcomed new players, including Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, and DeAndre Jordan. The Lakers won the NBA title in 2020. They retool their team and only keep three players: James, Davis, and Talen Horton-Tucker. He is out with an injury.
James and Davis made 3-pointers and fallaway jump shots. They had a great play where James caught the ball that was going to be lost. He then passed it back to Davis, who scored a point for them with 7 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Lakers, who didn’t win any games during the preseason, were leading 59-53 at halftime.
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