Lakers Highlights: Anthony Davis Dominates, Bench Steps Up Against Clippers
Kyle Kuzma
Mike Ehrmann-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers had quite the test in front of them in their first of eight seeding games as they faced off with the L.A Clippers. The game was full of runs from both sides, but in the end it was the Lakers coming out on top with a 103-101 victory.

The victory put the Lakers on the verge of officially clinching the top spot in the Western Conference. With 6.5 games separating the teams in the standings, they now need just one more win or a Clippers loss to do so.

While there were a lot of contributors on the night, there was no doubt that Anthony Davis was the dominant performer for the Lakers. He finished with 34 points, and 14 of those came in the first quarter as he sent a message immediately.

LeBron James spent the first quarter setting up his teammates with five assists and didn’t get his first field goal until the second quarter. But when he did get on the board, he did so with authority.

The Lakers also got a huge boost from their bench on this night. Though Dion Waiters signed with before the season was shut down in March, he never got the chance to make his Lakers debut.

Waiters made a difference and showed that he should have a regular rotation spot as he finished with 11 points off the bench, the best of which came on a layup after he put the Clippers in the spin cycle.

Things got rough for the Lakers in the third quarter as they started off slow and suddenly found themselves down by double-digits. But they wouldn’t be denied as they fought back and once again it was Davis coming through.

Those were the only two 3-pointers for Davis on the night, but they couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.

Kyle Kuzma was viewed by many as the Lakers’ x-factor coming into this season restart and there have been questions as he has been inconsistent this season. But on Thursday he was huge off the bench, providing a boost on both ends of the floor and a clutch three was massive down the stretch.

Kuzma finished the game with 16 points and 7 rebounds off the bench and also did a great job defensively attempting to contain the Clippers superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

But when it all came down to it, James clinched the win for the Lakers, not just with his game-winning basket, but his excellent defense on the other end as well.

James finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks as the Lakers kicked off the NBA restart on the right foot.

Next for Lakers

The Lakers’ next seeding game takes place on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 5:30 pm PT against the Toronto Raptors, followed by a meeting with the Utah Jazz on Monday.

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