The Los Angeles Lakers made a statement in their 121-96 win against the Utah Jazz in the second game of a back-to-back situation.
There had been plenty of talk in recent weeks about the team’s soft schedule and how their Western Conference-best record was a by-product of that, but their resounding road win over a Jazz team that was 8-1 at home prior to their matchup should be proof their strong play is not a fluke.
The All-Star duo put on a clinic on both ends as Anthony Davis came up with several highlight-reel defensive plays while LeBron James picked apart Utah’s defense with some pinpoint passes en route to 12 assists.
When asked what their consecutive wins mean to him, head coach Frank Vogel discussed the team’s game by game mentality and how impressed he was with their activity level against the Jazz, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“We got a good team and we have high aspirations and we’re trying to keep a game-to-game, stay in the moment type of focus throughout the year. We had a big win last night, would’ve been easy to come in here in a tough building to get a win in and not be at our best but our guys were really locked in. Defensively, really tied into the plan, shared the basketball offensively. We ran, second night of a back-to-back slot a lot of times your team is at an energy deficit and our guys brought great energy. Get 32 fastbreak points on a second night of a back-to-back? That’s just great effort by our team, so proud of them for getting a win.”
So far during the 2019-20 NBA season, players like Davis and James have echoed their head coach’s approach to each game as they have not placed too much stock in wins or losses and instead remain focused on the larger goal of winning a championship at hand. However, it is hard not to think there was a little more motivation to get a win in Utah on the second night of a back-to-back as critics have used their strength of schedule to try and diminish their impressive start so far.
The purple and gold were the aggressors for the entire night on both ends and it is performances like this that will help them earn wins against higher level competition.
They close out their three-game road trip against a struggling Portland Trail Blazers team, but still should not take them lightly due to their high-scoring backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McColllum.