The Los Angeles Lakers brought their ‘A’ game to the court on Friday night, sprinting to a 13-0 lead before the Philadelphia 76ers were able to post a point. Sophomore Laker Julius Randle led the charge scoring 9 of his 25 points in the dominating first quarter, in what may have been a career-defining game for him. The win ended a 8-game losing streak for Los Angeles.
Sick of Losing
It was evident that conscious efforts were being made by the Lakers to move the ball more, something which has not happened much in the 8 preceding games. Reports of Coach Luke Walton raising his voice and calling the team “soft” seemed to get the message across, as the Lakers led by as many as 22 and forced 20 turnovers throughout the game.
“It’s our job as coaches to put them in the best position we can to get them to try and succeed,” Walton said before the game. “That’s starting with the coaches, we kind of got away from what the main message was going into the season. That’s the process.” -Luke Walton
Former Sixer Lou Williams added 18 points after getting off the bench, maintaining his season consistency of 16 straight games with at least 13 points. Also off the bench was Larry Nance Jr. who led the team in rebounds with 11 in 34 minutes. Randle and Nick Young hit back to back shots midway through the third quarter to extend the Laker’s lead to 22 points.
After the game Luke Walton said,
“I thought we came out and set our tone defensively early on and had one of our better defense games. Better communication and better effort from everybody. We had guys really committed to playing defense tonight.”
The Lakers offense showed great improvement, finishing with 19 assists and 27 fast-break points while shooting 45.6% from the field.
After the win the Lakers found themselves the unlikely underdogs who became heroes at least for one night.