The Los Angeles Lakers returned to the win column with a victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday evening.
The Los Angeles Lakers held steady through the NBA Trade Deadline, deciding against making a trade. In their first game following the break, they faced the new-look Houston Rockets, who have fully bought into their positionless basketball.
Houston defeated the Lakers 121-111, using the shortest team the NBA has seen in 50 years. The Rockets’ tallest player to take the court was Robert Covington, who usually plays small forward and some power forward. P.J. Tucker, who stands 6’6″, was the starting center.
It was a disappointing loss, as the Lakers tried to match the Rockets by going small. It did not work, so they made sure to not make the same mistake tonight against the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers stuck more closely to their regular lineup rotations against the Warriors and it paid off, as they won the game 125-120. They led by as many as 22 points in the second half before the Warriors cut into the lead and kept chipping away right to the final buzzer.
The Lakers offense was on fire tonight. They shot 52.4 percent from the floor overall and 48.3 percent from the 3-point line, knocking down 14-of-29 from distance.
Seven different Lakers scored in double-figures, led by 27 from Anthony Davis. Davis had another efficient night, shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 9-of-13 from the foul line. He added 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block.
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LeBron James scored 22, going 7-of-17 from the field and making 3-of-8 from the 3-point line. Avery Bradley was a surprise addition to the 20-point scoring club, as he poured in 21 on 7-of-11 from the field, connecting on five 3-pointers. He added four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Danny Green was the fourth member of the starting five to break double-figures, scoring 10 points.
Off the bench, the Lakers received double-digit scoring efforts from Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard. Kuzma has a solid all-around game, scoring 12 points with two rebounds, six rebounds and three steals. Rondo had 11 points with four rebounds and four assists.
It was nice to see Howard get back into a rhythm tonight after only receiving only four minutes against the Rockets. In 13 minutes tonight Howard dominated, scoring 12 points with eight rebounds.
The Warriors had some impressive performances from their team as well. Marquesse Chriss scored 26 points with nine rebounds in 27 minutes. In his Warriors’ debut, Andrew Wiggins scored 24 points with two rebounds, three assists, five steals and one block. He made LeBron work for his points when he was defending him.
The Lakers will have a day off before returning home to face the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Their final game before the All-Star breaks will come on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets before the team gets a well-earned rest for nine days without a game.