Still without Anthony Davis, the Lakers are still undefeated in 2023! The Hawks won (130-114) last night in a masterful matchup, LeBron James’ teammates chained their 4th straight victory and they are closing in on the playoff spots.
Tonight, we told ourselves they were going to have a good night, as Thomas Bryant started the game with a 3-pointer and Juan Toscano-Anderson made it 9-2 after 70 seconds of play. Murray fights back, but the Falcons will give up quickly.
A mistake on Russell Westbrook’s layup gives the Lakers a 10-point lead, and Kendrick Nunn makes a layup. After twelve minutes the difference is made (37-28) and the Darwin Ham players go on to build a 21-point lead with a 14-2 run (51-30).
There is no reaction on the Atlanta side and the return of the incumbents does not change anything. LeBron, who is well served by Dennis Schroder and Westbrook, who lays, increases the difference to +26 (62-36). At halftime, the Lakers scored 70 points with five players scoring 10 or more. LeBron is only the team’s 4th leading scorer…
Despite the awakening of Trae Young, the second half will be very uninteresting and the Lakers will manage to maintain a 15-20 point lead throughout the second half. 4th in a row coming in, 5th in six games and here they are trailing the Jazz, currently 10th in the Western Conference.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
A positive balance sheet without Davis. We don’t talk about it much, but Darwin Ham is still getting a little success because his players now have a positive record without Anthony Davis: 6 wins to 5 losses. It’s all the more remarkable because Lonnie Walker, Troy Brown, Damian Jones and Austin Reaves were also missing that night. The result: The Lakers fielded their 21st different starting five!
LeBron accuracy. After a game of curing a cold, LeBron came back and didn’t need to score more than 40 points to save the team. One stat is impressive: this is his 12th straight game with 50% or more shooting. He got stronger as the game progressed and his 4th quarter was perfect to avoid any scares with some big dunks to ignite the Crypto.com Arena.
✅Russell Westbrook. We will have to seriously consider him for the best 6th man trophy. He fills his energizing role perfectly, and the Falcons exploded when he entered the game. He’s one pass shy of a triple-double.
✅ Thomas Bryant. Another double-double for Anthony Davis. His 3-pointer on the first possession set the tone for the game. His rebounding dominance allowed for many quick plays.
✅ Kendrick Nunn. Finally, a big play came out of him and he was responsible for putting the Falcons’ heads under water in the 2nd quarter.
✅Trae Young. Transparent in the first half, he woke up when he came back from the dressing room. Indeed, the only person who tries to make things happen, even if it leads to waste.
⛔John Collins. After two outings against the Warriors and Royals, John Collins is back on track. Pushed back, did not wear one!
LA Lakers (18-21) : Back-to-back on the Sacramento side.
Atlanta (18-21) : Sunday, still in the same room, facing the Clippers.