The Los Angeles Lakers finally returned home after a seven-game road trip and what awaited them was a matchup with the Denver Nuggets for the first time since last season’s Western Conference Finals.
The first game back home after a long road trip can be dangerous, especially against an explosive offense such as Denver’s. The fact that the Lakers have struggled at home far more than the road this season was also cause for concern.
Though, some pointed towards this being a playoff rematch as potential reason for extra motivation for the Lakers. After a slow start they turned things around in the second half for a blowout victory.
“We just want to be a better home team,” Davis said following the 114-93 victory. “We’re pretty solid on the road, at home, now we’re over .500 but we were a .500 ballclub. All the good teams are good at home, so our motivation is just being good at home.
“Before tonight our next 11 of 15 are at home, so we’ve got a really good chance of doing something special at home, taking care of home court.”
The win brought the Lakers’ home record to just 5-4 while they are an outstanding 12-2 away from Staples Center. As Davis said, most of the good teams are great at home and that has usually been the case throughout NBA history.
The Lakers have a lot of home games coming up, so this is the chance for them to move that home record back to where it is expected to be.
Regardless of who is in front of them, the Lakers just have one simple focus. “So that’s our motivation: just to win,” Davis added.
“No matter where we are in the standings — obviously we want to be first, and that’s our goal — but I don’t think that’s going to change our mindset. Our motivation is coming out, winning basketball games and letting the standings take care of themselves.”
Despite their struggles at home, the Lakers remain right in the thick of the race for the NBA’s best record. As long as they stay motivated, it will be a tall task for anyone to take them out of that spot at the end of the season.
Davis says Lakers needed to improve defense, pace in second half vs. Nuggets
In order for the Lakers to get back on track at home it took a huge effort in the second half. They trailed by 12 at halftime and looked completely lethargic and unfocused, which was a point of emphasis for Lakers head coach Frank Vogel in the locker room
“Coach got on us at halftime about our energy on the defensive end and pace on the offensive end,” Davis said.
“Guys talked in the locker room and we were able to come out in that third quarter and hold them to 17 points while scoring 37 points. Our pace was really good coming out of halftime.”
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