Anthony Davis’ thumb injury brought some concern, but with him back in the fold and LeBron James showing off his full playmaking arsenal, the Los Angeles Lakers once again put the NBA on notice.
James led the way with 18 points and 11 assists in 25 minutes while Davis flirted with a triple-double, pouring in eight points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in 28 minutes, as the Lakers cruised to a 126-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors. This marks the second time this preseason the Lakers have dominated the defending Western Conference champions as they defeated them 123-101 in the 2019 NBA preseason opener.
This contest showed off more of the same as the Lakers’ size was just too much from the beginning. They raced out to a 13-point lead after one quarter with James and Davis again showing that their pick-and-roll would be borderline unstoppable. They weren’t the only ones benefitting, however.
Avery Bradley had seven points in the first quarter while JaVale McGee was the recipient of a couple of lobs as the Warriors tried to shift their defense to stop the Lakers dynamic duo. The role players as a whole were ready to step up as well.
Quinn Cook, in his first action in a Lakers uniform, knocked down three shots from deep in route to a 13-point first half and ultimately finished with 16 points overall. Bradley also finished with 18 points, knocking down 4-5 from deep while Danny Green also knocked down a pair of three-pointers on the night.
The bigs also continued their strong preseason play as McGee finished with 12 points and six rebounds, while Dwight Howard added 15 points and seven boards. Each showed off their finishing ability as well as controlling the glass and protecting the rim, constantly altering shots on defense.
Perhaps the most promising aspect of the night was the Lakers’ three-point shooting, which has been questionable so far this preseason. They shot over 60% as a team from three-point range in the first three quarters before the bench players took over, showing that the team is capable of making the opposition pay if they focus too much on Davis and James.
Next up for the Lakers is one more matchup with the Warriors on Friday night before the regular season begins with the showdown of L.A. teams as the Lakers and Clippers face off on Opening Night.