Laker great Magic Johnson said it best via Twitter, “If the Lakers continue to play like this, they can beat Memphis, and anybody else in the West!” And we all can agree that the Magic man knows a thing or two about basketball. The Lakers won game one against the Suns, 128-112.
The win was fueled by the play of four players who scored over 20 points, especially Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura. Reaves scored 23 points with four assists, but it was Hachimura, coming off the bench, who led the team in scoring with 29 points.
After the game, Lakers star forward LeBron James said that he knew early on that Reaves would be a key player on the team.
“I knew from the first practice that he wasn’t going to be a two-way for long … I’ve been around the game long enough to know great basketball IQ players … and the [guys] that fit with me,” James said.
“You dream about being on a stage like this with the best players in the world,” Reaves said. “I got hot late and had fun.” At one point in the game, Reaves, clearly feeling himself and deservedly so, shouted, “I’m him.” It was almost a home game for Reaves, as 100 of his relatives and friends drove over from Arkansas for the game.
LeBron James scored 21 points, along with 11 rebounds and five assists. D’Angelo Russell contributed 19 points with seven assists.
Anthony Davis gave Lakers fans everywhere a scare when he appeared to injure his right shoulder late in the first half. Davis returned to the game after the first half and dominated the inside with 22 points, 12 rebounds, seven blocked shots and three steals.
After the game, Laker head coach Darvin Ham said, “Davis’ shoulder should be fine moving forward” and described the injury as a “stinger.”
The Lakers return to the FedEx Forum for game 2 on Wednesday.