For the first time this preseason the Los Angeles Lakers had their two centerpieces on the court. LeBron James and Anthony Davis saw action in the first half as the Lakers continued their perfect preseason with a 112-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Both Davis and James looked a bit rusty in their season debut, but ultimately had solid nights. Davis finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 18 minutes, while James added 11 points and two assists in 15 minutes as neither played after the second quarter.
Though the two superstars making their return was big news, it was again the Lakers’ pair of young talents that carried them for much of the night. Kyle Kuzma led the team with 23 points while hitting 4-of-8 from three-point range.
Talen Horton-Tucker also continued his strong play, turning in 18 points and five rebounds.
The Lakers were without two main rotation players as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso both sat out, but the team’s depth again shined, giving fans a glimpse of what to expect this season.
Montrezl Harrell finished with 11 points, six rebounds and two steals. Quinn Cook had 10 points and four assists, Marc Gasol added eight rebounds and two assists, and Wesley Matthews and Dennis Schroder added seven points apiece.
The Lakers’ improved shooting was on display as they knocked down 40% from deep and 75% from the free throw line. The team’s defense was also dominant in spurts, finishing the game allowing just 40.7% shooting and 31% from three-point range from the Suns.
The two teams alternated dominating quarters throughout the contest as the Lakers got off to slow starts in both the first and third quarters before winning the final quarters of each half.
After holding a nine point lead at the half the Lakers were outscored 39-16 in the third. They responded in the final quarter, outscoring the Suns by 19 to come away with the win, led by 11 from Horton-Tucker.
What’s next for the Lakers
The Lakers finish out their preseason with one final matchup against the Suns on Friday night before getting ready for the regular season opener when they will face the L.A. Clippers.
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