The Los Angeles Lakers starting lineup was unguardable against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. All five players — LeBron James, Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura — finished with at least 20 points for the first time since 1984.
James racked up 14 assists while Reaves and Russell combined for 57 points. It was a true team effort in a big victory.
The Lakers scored 87 points in the first half and finished with 139 in a regulation 48 minutes. The starting five combined for 119 points while shooting 41-for-71 (57.7%) from the field as a unit.
James spent some time talking about what the starting five accomplished in the win over the Pelicans and how great it is to see such significant contributions from all five players.
“We were in a great flow, the ball was popping. Obviously DLo had it going, AR I believe started the game 7-for-7 or 6-for-6 and Rui had one of the best offensive performances he had this year. I think he was reading the defense, cutting behind the defense and also making his outside shots. So good performance for us offensively.”
The Lakers star finished with 14 assists, and spoke about whether or not high assist totals for him are the key to the Lakers’ success.
“For me personally, I’m always looking to get my teammates involved,” James said. “If the defense shifts towards me, I’m always trying to pick apart the defense with a pass. That is in my DNA when it comes to basketball.
“But obviously we got a lot of ball handlers too so the ball is not always in my hands, which is OK. AR handles the ball, DLo handles the ball, AD handles the ball. I think with Skylar’s minutes he’s even handled the ball and done well too. Tonight worked well for us and I was happy that guys were able to finish.”
What James really praised the Lakers for was their ability to bounce back after a tough offensive performance against the Denver Nuggets the night before when Russell was out and Hachimura struggled.
“Tonight it was pretty good. Last night wasn’t great offensively with no DLo and Rui had a tough one. We had a tough offensive game yesterday but tonight we left yesterday where it was, left it behind and moved on to today and I loved the way we performed.”
The Lakers have been putting together better performances as of late, winning four of their last five and six of their last nine after a very tough stretch. And outings like Friday provide some hope of what L.A. can be at their best.
LeBron James discusses what Spencer Dinwiddie will bring
The Lakers are also reportedly adding veteran guard Spencer Dinwiddie off of the buyout market when he clears waivers on Saturday afternoon. He was in attendance at Friday’s game, and James spoke about what he’ll bring to the Lakers.
“Playmaking, another ball handler, another shot-maker,” James said. “Another guy, another veteran. Anytime you can add a veteran with that ability, it helps.”
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