The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Brooklyn Nets 129-126 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Monday night to earn their first win of the preseason.
Austin Reaves made his preseason debut and wasted no time as he scored the team’s first bucket with a pull-up 3 in transition. The Nets were able to respond with a 7-0 run to briefly take the lead, before the Lakers and D’Angelo Russell answered back with their own triples to retake control.
Russell caught fire from the field as he took 3s with confidence, while Rui Hachimura entered the game and immediately scored five points to give Los Angeles a seven-point lead. However, the Nets went on a run of their own to close the quarter and the Lakers went into the second trailing 35-34.
Anthony Davis started to make his presence felt early in the second as he worked underneath for a reverse layup and followed it up with a block in the paint. Los Angeles picked up their play on both ends of the floor to take their first double-digit lead of the night.
Taurean Prince showed off some of his offensive repertoire by putting the basketball on the deck, while Jaxson Hayes added his own lay in to increase the lead to 19. Brooklyn reeled off an 8-0 run near the end of the half, but Los Angeles would go into the half comfortably leading 75-61 thanks to their hot shooting from deep.
James, Davis and Russell’s nights were done as Darvin Ham opted to start Christian Wood, Gabe Vincent and Hachimura to begin the third quarter. Without their main scoring threats, the Lakers slowly allowed the Nets to come back and tie the game 82-82.
Cam Thomas and Reaves traded baskets in the middle of the period, though L.A. managed to retake the lead after some more hot shooting from distance. Wood decided to take matters into his own hands late in the quarter by calling his own number offensively and as a result the purple and gold went into the fourth up 110-102.
Even with the all-bench unit on the floor, the Lakers managed to stay ahead as their defense tightened up. Ham went deeper into his bench and allowed the youngsters to play, though they held their own to keep a 120-112 lead.
Unfortunately, the rookies started to go cold from the field though Maxwell Lewis did manage to throw down a flashy dunk to get the Las Vegas crowd up and cheering. It was a back-and-forth affair in the closing minutes, but Los Angeles was able to hold on for the win.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!