Led by Luka Doncic, the Mavericks gave the Lakers issues all night as he carved up their defense en route to a triple-double. However, the purple and gold did a good job of once again clawing back in the second half and putting themselves in a position to win a tightly contested game.
James was nothing short of brilliant in the victory as he finished with a triple-double of his own while also providing some stout defense throughout the night.
After the game, James detailed why he believes Los Angeles is able to improve in the middle of games, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I guess as the game goes on, we get more and more comfortable with our opponent… with ourselves. Trying to stay composed throughout the game no matter what’s going on either on the road or at home and I felt like we’ve gotten better and better through our five games as every quarter’s went on.
We don’t like having the first quarter deficits that we’ve had, but I thought we still played great in the first quarter… we just couldn’t make a shot. We were still defending and that’s what’s most important.”
The Lakers have started every game during the 2019-20 NBA season a bit sluggish as they often have defensive lapses and struggle to find their offensive rhythm.
However, in all four of their wins so far, they have managed to turn it around and play exponentially better on both ends.
Even though they have won four games after falling behind early, there is some slight concern about the slow starts coming back to bite them when they play more elite competition. Other championship contenders only need slight openings to bust games wide open, so it would definitely be in the team’s interest to ensure they get off to better starts moving forward.
Efforts like this from James prove why he is still in the discussion for the best player in the world, but he will not be able to provide that kind of productivity on a nightly basis which means the team will need to find ways to remain effective when he sits.
In the meantime, they will happily enjoy the win and prepare for a matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.