LeBron James said it was ‘go time’ as the second half of the NBA season got started, and apparently the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers are of that same mindset.
Five Lakers scored in double-figures and James got his fourth triple-double of the season in Monday night’s dominant 128-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers are now 2-0 to kick off the second half of the season and now stand just 0.5 games behind the Phoenix Suns for second place in the Western Conference.
James finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists as he had his fadeaway going in a big way. But he wasn’t the Lakers’ leading scorer on this night with that honor going to Montrezl Harrell, who completely dominated the Warriors’ frontcourt to the tune of 27 points, five rebounds and three steals while hitting 11 of his 14 shots from the field.
The lone black mark on the Lakers’ performance was their inability to take care of the ball as they had 19 turnovers on the night, including six from James and four from Dennis Schroder. But when the Lakers were able to take care of the ball, they were absolutely scorching. As a team, the Lakers shot 62.8% from the field and 40.7% from 3-point range.
Second-year guard Talen Horton-Tucker had a great night as well with a career-high 18 points. He also added in 10 assists for his first career double-double. Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma continued his string of excellent performances with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
In what was undoubtedly an outstanding sight for Lakers fans everywhere, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had his best showing in a couple of weeks, finishing with 14 points and four rebounds while knocking down 3-of-4 of his shots from deep.
Two key areas where the Lakers dominated all night were on the defensive end and their ball movement. The Lakers didn’t allow more than 26 points in any quarter and held the Warriors to just 43% shooting while also forcing 22 Golden State turnovers. They then let their ball movement take over on offense, with 36 assists on their 49 baskets while also finishing with 68 points in the paint.
Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry had a strong performance with 27 points, but the Lakers held the rest of the Warriors in check, including limiting Draymond Green to just two points and, more importantly, just seven assists.
Next up for Lakers
The Lakers continue their five-game week when they return to Staples Center to host the Minnesota Timberwolves on the second part of this back-to-back before taking on LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets for the first time this season on Thursday.
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