For the entirety summer league, the Lakers have competed well as a team. Whether it was defensive execution or spreading the love offensively, the headline for each game was a team win. It never shone brighter than on Thursday evening, when a late run led the Lakers to a 72-68 victory in the second round of the summer league tourney.
With 2:35 left and the Bucks up two, each Lakers stepped up. First, Lester Hudson hit a floater through the lane to tie the game. Chris Douglas-Roberts then got his hands on a loose ball to regain possession for the Lakers. After running their offense, Sacre found himself with the ball in the post, where he lowered his shoulder and got to the rim, where he was fouled and hit the shot. After making the free throw and giving the Lakers a 3-point lead, Hudson grabbed a rebound from a missed John Henson shot. Pushing the ball up-court, Hudson found the trailing Elias Harris for the lay-up and a 5-point lead, all done in exactly 1:01.
That was enough for the Lakers, who survived a bit of a scare when, after a Nate Wolters lay-up cut the lead to 3 with 10.6 seconds left, CDR’s errant inbounds pass found Dominique Jones wide open at the 3-point line. Fortunately for the purple and gold, his shot missed and Sacre grabbed the rebound and iced the game by making 1 of 2 free throws late.
Sacre led the Lakers on the night in his most impressive summer league performance yet, tallying 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block. Making his performance that much more special was that, for the most part, Sacre was battling Henson, a shot blocking machine, who finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. Clearly, it didn’t deter Sacre, who’s and-1 late in the game came as a result of a Henson foul.
It was defense that keyed the Lakers early on as they outscored the Bucks 18-7 in the 2nd quarter to go into halftime with a 36-33 lead. Thanks to some solid defense from a host of Lakers, most notably CDR, the Bucks second leading scorer Dominique Jones finished with just 7 points on 2 of 11 shooting, including 1 for 6 from downtown.
For the Lakers, it was once again Marcus Landry leading the scoring column as he finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Landry, who has scored at least 14 points in all four games, kept the Lakers afloat in the 3rd quarter where they allowed the Bucks to come back and take the lead. After scoring to give LA a 3-point lead, Landry found an errant Hudson pass, corralled the loose ball between two Bucks defenders, and banked in the shot from the free throw line with just 1.1 seconds left in the 3rd.
Despite a tough shooting night, Hudson finished with 9 points, but also grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 6 assists. The Lakers struggling bench play (where have we heard that before) hurt them throughout the night with just 18 bench points coming from the 7 subs featured in the game. As has been the case for most the summer league, CDR simply showed flashes of what he’s capable of, which may be enough to secure himself a training camp invite, though. His 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 block aren’t eye-popping stats, but he’s doing just enough to keep his name in the hunt.
Elias Harris also kept his name in the training camp discussion despite finishing with just 4 points. His 8 rebounds and solid defense were noticeable and his energy is unquestioned. On the flip side, Lazar Hayward, Josh Selby, and DJ Seeley secured their spots in the NBA D-League next year. Michael Snaer, who was seen as a roster spot possibility early on, struggled on the night, shooting just 2 of 6 from the field, but both those makes were from three-point territory. But with just 2 rebounds and no assists, he may be fading out of the training camp picture.
The Lakers next are in action Saturday evening at 10 PM Eastern when they face the winner of the Golden State Warriors-Dallas Mavericks matchup, which will be played tonight at 10:30 Eastern. As always, you can check out the Lake Show Life website or Twitter account to keep up to date on the summer league action.