Many believe the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets will be facing each other in the final game of the NBA season. Without most of the stars on either team, they also took part in the first.
Anthony Davis took the floor for the first time this season but was the only star suited up for either team as the Lakers dropped their preseason opener to the Nets, 123-97. Davis, as expected, played just the first quarter and finished with six points on 2-of-6 shooting in 11 minutes.
LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza all sat out for the Lakers while the Nets were without their entire starting lineup of Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin and Joe Harris.
It was Davis who recorded the first points of the preseason with a short bucket and foul on Paul Millsap. Talen Horton-Tucker also threw down a massive one-handed dunk in the first quarter and would finish with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists, but struggled from the field as did the rest of the Lakers, shooting only 3-of-11.
The Lakers as a team shot just 36.4% from the field and 31.4% from 3-point range, but that is to be expected in the first preseason game. It was a close game for the first three quarters as the Lakers trailed by just three heading into the fourth, but things got away from once things turned over to the two-way players and training camp invitees.
There were undoubtedly some positives to take away as well and one of the biggest was the play of the two centers. DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard combined for 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks while also sinking 10-of-13 from the free-throw line. Howard did pick up a technical foul in the third quarter after seemingly being baited by his former teammate James Harden, but it was a minor incident overall.
The Lakers’ two young backcourt additions also had solid outings as well in the opener. Malik Monk led the Lakers with 15 points on 50% shooting while Kendrick Nunn finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Wayne Ellington added 11 points with a pair of 3-pointers while Kent Bazemore was solid all-around with five points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Next up for Lakers
The Lakers will hit the road for their next two preseason games starting on Wednesday in an afternoon contest against the Phoenix Suns followed by a trip to Golden State to face the Warriors on Friday night.
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