The Lakers returned to STAPLES Center after a four-game road trip to top the Washington Wizards 125-103 behind Anthony Davis’ 26-point performance on Friday night.
“Their team does not have a great record, but we respected them and what they can do offensively,” said coach Frank Vogel. “That’s a commitment by our guys to execute a gameplan. I’m proud of that performance.”
The Wizards entered Friday’s matchup tied for first in the NBA in points per game (119.4) and led the league in assists per game with 28.8. The Lakers held the Wizards to just 103 points on 39.6 percent shooting well under the team’s average.
Just one day after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Lakers got out to a sluggish start trailing the Wizards 15-4 with 7:46 left in the first quarter.
In 24 minutes, LeBron James nearly scored a point for every minute he was on the court. He finished with 23 points to go along with 11 assists on the night. Davis added 13 rebounds and two assists in 27:24 minutes of play.
“That ball was moving,” said Davis. “We were playing together and our offense is usually dictated by defense, and we were able to play great defense tonight.”
Vogel was able to limit both James and Davis’ minutes as the Lakers maintained a considerable lead heading into the fourth quarter 105-79. Vogel brought out the Lakers’ reserves in a lineup that featured Quinn Cook, Alex Caruso, Troy Daniels, Jared Dudley, and Dwight Howard.
Cook made the most out of his minutes as he shot 7-11 from the field and 3-4 from three-point totaling 17 points. He pointed out that he was in a similar role in his last two seasons with Golden State.
“Any time I get in the game, it’s always good,” said the Washington D.C. native. “To go against my hometown team, a lot of my close friends that’s always fun at this level.”
“Quinn was great,” James added. “He’s a steady guard for us. Any time his number is called, he’s going to be ready to play.”
Kyle Kuzma was also in that fourth-quarter rotation until he suffered an ankle injury. He finished with four points before heading to the locker room early. Vogel revealed post-game that Kuzma had X-Rays on his left ankle that came back negative and he would be day-to-day.
“He probably could have stayed in there if we needed him to,” Vogel stated. “He was favoring it a little bit and with a big lead, again, similar to the situation with his eye, we used better judgment and got him out.”
With this win, the Lakers move to a 14-1 record in the month of November and an overall record of 17-2 on the season.
The Lakers are the only team in the league ranked top five in both offense (111.4) and defense (102.8) according to NBA Stats. Los Angeles will matchup against Dallas for the second time this season on Sunday, this time at home after their overtime win on the road earlier this season. The Mavericks anchored by Luka Doncic will enter Sunday’s matchup with a 12-6 record after their latest win against the Suns.