Although the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James, they nonetheless were slated to face a difficult task when the NBA unveiled the regular-season schedule. They tipped off against the Portland Trail Blazers, then played the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
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The Lakers played well during stretches in each of those games, but it amounted to nothing more but frustration and an 0-3 start to the season. Lakers head coach Luke Walton remained encouraged by his team’s progress, and James reiterated his understanding of a growing period.
Kyle Kuzma echoed a similar sentiment, though somewhat begrudgingly. “I don’t like to use moral victories, but it kind of bodes well,” he said after the overtime loss to the Spurs. “The three teams we’ve played, they’ve all played together for quite some time. We’re a new team. To be in every single game sort of means something.”
The Lakers broke through Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns, pulling away for a 131-113 victory. “Starting 0-3 is tough. Coming into this one, it was kind of a win that we needed to get,” Kuzma said.
“Playing Denver, a potential playoff team, going to San Antonio, Minnesota, you’ve just got to get your wins when you can.”
Kuzma wasn’t quite as prolific in his second start of the season, but with 17 points was among seven Lakers who scored in double figures. As he noted, the Lakers now face the undefeated Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on Wednesday to complete a back-to-back.
Then on Saturday they play three of their next four games on the road; heading to San Antonio, Minnesota and Portland.