The Los Angeles Lakers have had a surprisingly successful 2016-2017 season and currently sit at six wins and five losses, good enough for eighth place in the Western Conference. Coming off a tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers will look to get back to their winning ways against the Brooklyn Nets at home.
Check out our live recap below:
The Lakers began the game with their now-standard starting five of D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, Luol Deng, Julius Randle, and Timofey Mozgov. Russell got the scorebook opened for the Lakers with a three, which was a positive sign. A couple of quick buckets from Trevor Booker and Brook Lopez brought the Nets in front, and while Mozgov answered with a dunk, a turnover and score allowed the Nets to regain the lead.
The Lakers came back on a Mozgov dunk from a nice feed from Russell out of the pick and roll. Russell wasn’t content with just setting up teammates, though, and drained three more three-pointers to get himself 12 fast points. As Russell’s confidence grew, so did the Lakers’, and Randle got in the passing spirit by driving into the lane, drawing the defense, and kicking the ball out to open teammates.
Brook Lopez did his best to keep his team close, scoring in the paint as well as knocking in a three of his own.
The Lakers brought on Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, and Larry Nance Jr. to join Russell and Randle, hoping to increase the pace. Quickly, Nance scored on a feed from Randle and Russell got a dunk on a fast break pass from Clarkson, exciting the STAPLES Center crowd and giving the Lakers an eight-point lead.
Unfortunately, things went downhill from there as Trevor Booker led the Nets on a 10-0 run to close out the first quarter and the Nets led 29-27 after one.
The second quarter started the same way the first ended, with Lakers turnovers and poor passes giving the Nets easy looks on the other end. The Los Angeles offense finally got going a bit on a three from Clarkson, and coach Luke Walton brought Luol Deng in for Tarik Black to go small and create space. Clarkson scored on a nice crossover, and in short order, the Lakers had regained the lead, 34-32. Lou Williams scored on a smooth drive to the basket, and on the ensuing play, Ingram forced a turnover and then scored to push the lead to six.
The Lakers defense still looked shaky, giving up a pair of layups and then allowing Bojan Bogdanovic to get an and-one to put Brooklyn back in front. Los Angeles lacked sharpness on either end, carelessly giving up baskets while turning the ball over on offense. Much like the Lakers, the Nets are out to prove pundits wrong about their quality and were out-hustling the home side.
The Nets came out of a timeout and got Bogdanovic a dunk, and then missed shot by the Lakers and another Bogdanovic layup on a leak out forced a timeout from Luke Walton. A pair of quick baskets from Randle, including one on a nicely run fast-break, brought the Lakers to within one and helped restore some normalcy.
Lopez came back with a three, but a Russell jumper tied the game at 50 with just over two minutes to play in the half. The Lakers were able to get a few points at the free throw line, and a Brooklyn turnover led to a Russell-assisted three for Young, allowing Los Angeles to head into halftime up 56-51.
The Lakers started the third quarter with the same five that opened the game. Deng had an early look but missed, leaving him with zero points for the night. A mistimed lob to Mozgov led to a Nets fast break basket, but a pair of Randle free throws kept the lead at five. Deng finally got on on the board by getting to the free throw line and later followed a missed alley-oop by Mozgov to get his first field goal of the game. A Russell basket pushed the Lakers’ lead to nine, 64-55.
The Nets hung tough with a few quick baskets from Bogdanovic, and a sloppy turnover from Russell on an attempted lob resulted in a timeout with the lead down to seven.
Los Angeles came out of the timeout with better ball movement, getting a Randle floater and a pair of free throws from Mozgov as their reward. Lopez abused Mozgov on the glass for an and-one, but a pair of threes from Russell and a basket from Deng brought the Lakers lead to 13. Lopez wasn’t to be outdone, though, firing back with a pair of threes of his own.
The Nets simply refused to go away, and yet another Bogdanovic basket cut the lead down to six despite Russell’s shooting display. Black, who came in for Mozgov, got an and-one, but the Nets answered right back. Another basket by Black and a steal and three-point play by Clarkson pushed the lead back to 11, but once again the Nets answered when Sean Kilpatrick scored over Nance.
Lou Williams got to the rim and missed, but Black followed to slam it home and give the Lakers a 93-85 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Lakers began the quarter with a lineup of Ingram, Williams, Nance, Black, and Clarkson, and attempted to run a lob play for Ingram that just missed. A score by Joe Harris and a three from Randy Foye quickly cut the lead to just three, but Los Angeles responded by finding Nance for a dunk. Walton brought on Young for Ingram, and some really impressive ball movement eventually led to a Young assist to Black.
Black continued to be a factor, grabbing his seventh rebound and then getting fouled on the put-back attempt to go to the line and bring the Lakers’ lead to nine, 101-92. The Nets kept pushing, but the Lakers seemed to have an answer to every basket.
Randle subbed back in just one assist short of a triple-double, but he was so determined to get it that he was passing even when the situation didn’t call for it. After a timeout, he corrected things and buried a jumper, but by that point, the Nets had cut the lead to six. A Russell jumper and a pair of free throws from Randle pushed it back to ten with just under five minutes to play.
Yogi Ferrell and Bogdanovic both kept the Nets close and a turnover by Russell trying to pass out of the post gave Brooklyn the ball back with the lead at seven. The Nets continued to attack the rim, and while Randle picked up his triple-double on a Mozgov dunk, Brooklyn cut the lead to four with just under two minutes to play. A big block from Ingram on Booker helped keep the lead, but the Nets were dead-set on completing the comeback.
With just two seconds left on the shot clock, Walton called timeout and drew up a pretty out-of-bounds play that got Clarkson a lob at the rim. He was fouled to prevent the basket but sank both free throws. On the ensuing possession, the Nets came up empty, but Russell missed on a three that would have put the game away.
A turnover from Brooklyn with less than a minute left meant they had to play the foul game, and they sent Ingram to the line, where he sank both shots. After an extended run of fouls from the Nets to extend the game, the Lakers triumphed, 125-118.