With LeBron James out due to injury, it took an entire team effort for the Los Angeles Lakers to pick up their second consecutive win on Sunday night over the Portland Trail Blazers. Anthony Davis would lead the way of course, but the likes of Rui Hachimura, Cam Reddish and Austin Reaves all played huge roles in the win.
The Lakers were able to limit some of the issues they’ve had this season as they actually won the first quarter 31 to 28 on this night while also allowing just five offensive rebounds and turning the ball over just nine times.
The Trail Blazers did fight back in the fourth quarter after the Lakers seemed to have things in control, but Davis was happy with the way his team held their composure and competed all night long.
“I think we just competed,” Davis said after the win. “Even though they got back in the game with some 3s, second-chance points, we didn’t let that affect the way we played the basketball game, especially late-game.
“We were still able to make stops, make some tough shots and then able to hold them to one possession. So even though they made runs, we stayed resilient and kept fighting, something we’ve shown we can do all season.”
The Lakers fight has undoubtedly been on display all year long. Because of their issues in the first quarter, the team has often had to fight back to make games competitive and more often than not they have done just that.
Because of LeBron being out, that being necessary again on Sunday would have been expected by many. As Davis pointed out, when you’re missing someone who does so much like James does, it requires everyone to step up and Davis believes the Lakers did just that.
“Everybody just has to step up when you’re missing a guy like that in all facets of the game from rebounding to playmaking, scoring, defense,” the Lakers big man added. “Guys have to step up and I think guys did tonight.
“Austin made some big shots, TP on the defensive end, Cam on the defensive end, Rui taking the challenge and guarding Jerami Grant. So I think everybody just stepped up and that’s what you do when you have one of your big dogs out.”
An injury to LeBron James is something many teams would not be able to overcome, regardless of who they are facing. But the Lakers are finally getting healthy and because of that, and everyone coming up big when it mattered most, they were able to come away with a big victory.
Lakers LeBron James’ injury not believed to be serious; listed as day-to-day
LeBron sat out of Sunday’s game against Portland because of the shin he injured in the Lakers’ prior game against Phoenix. Head coach Darvin Ham made it clear that the Lakers are just being proactive and the injury is not believed to be serious.
“He had some issues with that shin that he hurt last game. So just being proactive. We don’t want to run him into the ground this early, so it’s an opportunity where he can get some treatment and not force it. So he’s day-to-day.”
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