The Los Angeles Lakers earned their first win of the 2020-21 season by blowing out the Dallas Mavericks 138-115 in their primetime Christmas matchup.
The story of the night was the offense as they shot 56% from the field and knocked down 19-of-39 behind the arc. Anthony Davis led the Lakers in scoring with 28 points, while LeBron James and Montrezl Harrell chipped in with 22 points apiece.
It was a much better showing than their Opening Night loss to the L.A. Clippers as the Lakers looked more comfortable playing together. “We watched film and realized how we could be better on both sides of the ball,” Davis said.
“We had some guys sit out in preseason, and you don’t really get that chemistry. We didn’t have that much practice time, we had only been together for like nine days at that time. The more and more we play with each other the more we’re going to figure things out.
“We went to the film and realized we could be a lot better. We pride ourselves on not losing two in a row; we did the same exact thing last year when we didn’t want to lose two games in a row. We wanted to come out and get this game and come out with a lot of energy and effort. Guys felt a lot better body-wise and mentally.
“Obviously getting our rings was a big deal for us, and it just didn’t feel like a real game. It felt surreal. We were able to come out tonight, put that behind us and do whatever we could to make sure we get the win.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel noted his roster was determined to make sure they played better in their second game of the season. “Our guys had a motivated spirit after the Game 1 loss and we were in attack mode,” Vogel said. “Playing extra-pass basketball and we had 33 assists. A strong offensive performance.”
It was the first window into how Los Angeles can look when they are hitting on all cylinders and it will be a performance they will be able to build on going forward.
LeBron James praises ball movement against Mavericks
James led all players with 10 assists and was proud of how well the Lakers moved the ball. However, he did admit that the team could have managed to share the ball more if they limited their turnovers.
“We could’ve cracked 40 assists if we were more secure with some of our turnovers, especially in that second quarter,” James said.
“The way we were moving the ball, the way we were sharing the ball, keeping everybody involved and feeling very comfortable on the offensive end, just comes from the film that we dived into the last couple days.”
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