After a sluggish start, the Los Angeles Lakers defensively joined and defeated the Dallas Mavericks 114-103 on Friday at the Staples Center. The Lakers lead the regular season series 2-0 against the Mavericks.
On Friday it was a back and forth as four major changes occurred until the end of Summers, but the Lakers started in the third quarter and did not look back.
Kyle Kuzma was an important reason why the Lakers took control in the second half, having scored 13 points out of 15 in the third quarter, after beating them 3-0 in the first quarter. Kuzma was also the only threat to the team behind the arch on Friday, missing out on 3 of his 7 3-point attempts.
To top off the 23-year-old's strong nights, he also grabbed 1
Of course, Kuzma would not have been able to make an impact, if not the contributions of LeBron James and Brandon Ingram throughout the game.
Like almost all Lakers, James came out of the locker room and was back to back on the second night, but finished the game with a team-high 28 points in 12-21 shooting.
Ingram was not far behind James in the scoring column with 19 points in a less efficient 7:16 shooting from the field. On rookie of the year favorites Luka Doncic, who shot just 15.4 percent out of the field, Ingram made life difficult. Ingram played an airtight defense on Doncic in their last match before he got into a bad tackle.
As a team, the Lakers built on Thursday their impressive defensive performance against the Indiana Pacers. Lonzo Ball was an irritant to the defense. He pushed 5 steals away to go with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Tyson Chandler was also a beast on the glass, grabbing 12 rebounds while earning 13 points for the season.
If this trend continues, they should be in good shape for their tough December schedule.
The Lakers must clear on Saturday before playing Phoenix Sunday in their home game's third game with four games. The Suns have won four games this season, which means they will do well for the L.A.
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