- Benjamin Gerstel
Lakers get a huge push from LeBron to cruise 106-96 against the Nets
Anthony Davis finally made his return, giving the Lakers a huge push for contention within this game. Brooklyn already had Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris and more out for tonight’s game. However, they did play Nicholas Claxton, who made a minimal impact in just 17 minutes of action. With the addition of Anthony Davis, the Lakers were able to put on a splendid show.
James Harden and Anthony Davis were exchanging buckets in the first quarter. After being out all season, Anthony Davis was able to make an immediate impact for the Lakers, who desperately needed some help. The big man out of Kentucky dominated down low, as well as a monstrous block which turned into vintage Russell Westbrook fastbreak layup. James Harden cut into the Lakers defense plenty of times, relying on his elite finishing ability. The first quarter closed out with a hook shot by LeBron, while fading away at the buzzer. Davis had the first four points for L.A., including an elite block and an insane one-handed alley oop, off of a pass from King James, all in the first quarter. Harden did all he could to slow down the “Showtime”-looking Lakers, with his three-ball and his ability to draw contact. The Beard had at least three and-ones in the first quarter alone.
Carmelo Anthony was able to make an impact in the second quarter, with a classic turnaround shot, and a ridiculous pass to Malik Monk, while Melo was spinning and falling backwards. Monk hit the three, giving the Lakers a 14-point league. Malik hit two big threes, giving the Lakers a big push before halftime and had 22 points in the game. While supporting cast-players were starting to get involved for L.A, they were also helping out Harden and the rest of Brooklyn’s squad. Deandre Bembry had a crucial offensive rebound, leading to an easy layup, and Patty Mills was looking much more confident at this point. Harden followed up LeBron’s first-quarter buzzer beater, with one of his own to end the half.
With 7:00 left in the game, LeBron finished a fastbreak with an emphatic flush. He followed it up with another wild two-handed jam giving the Lakers the momentum boost needed to win the game. Malik Monk continued to feed off of his energy, extending their lead over Harden, Bembry, and company. LeBron, Malik Monk, and AD were too much for a short-handed Brooklyn team.
Los Angeles won the contest, 106-96. Brooklyn outrebounded LAL by 21, but there were very few positive takeaways, aside from Harden, Mills, and Bembry. L.A. dominated them all night, with flashy dunks, passes, and stern blocks. They also shot better from every level of the field, including going perfect from the line while Brooklyn missed a significant seven free throws.
One of those positive takeaways, include Harden putting the rumors of leaving Brooklyn to rest. Post game, he was quoted saying “I don’t know about no reports,” when asked about the rumors. Brooklyn is clearly not where they want to be right now, and L.A. has looked dominant with their superstar power forward. Not only did they score over 100, but they held Brooklyn under 100 as well. The Lakers play Thursday night at Philadelphia and the Nets continue their homestand, welcoming Denver and the reigning MVP tomorrow night.