The Los Angeles Lakers are on the upside with their first two wins of the season.
The Los Angeles Lakers started their season off rocky with a 0-3 record, but were able to get their first win on the road against the Phoenix Suns and their first home win of the season against the Denver Nuggets.
Lakers vs. Nuggets
The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets 121-114 with a triple-double performance by LeBron James in his first home win of the season.
James sealed the game for Los Angeles in making one of two free throws with 12.1 seconds left in the quarter. He finished the game with 28 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers looked good to combat the Nuggets on defense as in their previous meeting in the preseason, Denver was able to capitalize off Los Angeles’ various miscues on offense and defense.
In this recent meeting between the two, it was a close game throughout until the Lakers created some room in the fourth quarter behind Stephenson’s eight-point performance early in the quarter.
Midway through the fourth, the Lakers went on a 12-2 run that was capped off by a James slam in transition to make Los Angeles go take a two-point lead with 3:30 left in the quarter.
Stephenson finished the game with 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and JaVale McGee also gave well need contributions to this win.
Kuzma scored four straight points in transition. Kuzma stole the ball from Nikola Jokic and made a running dunk to give the Lakers a seven-point lead with under a minute left in the ball game. He finished the game with 22 points, three assists, two blocks, and one steal.
Ball has been a consistent scorer for the Lakers when he is needed. His step back three-pointer gave Los Angeles a five-point lead with three minutes left in the game. He finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.
McGee has been showing that he is capable of being a serviceable player, as well. His floater early in the fourth quarter gave the Lakers a five-point lead at 101-96. He finished the game with 21 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
All of the starters scored in double digits. Up to the 55.9 second mark of the fourth, the Lakers were in the midst of a 19-4 run.
For the Nuggets, Jokic scored 24 points, Jamal Murray had 22 points and Monte Morris scored 20 points.
Lakers vs. Suns
In the Lakers matchup with the Phoenix Suns, to start their back to back, they defeated the Suns 131-113 to gain their first win of the season.
The Lakers’ defense started off slow in the game, but picked up as it went on. As it has been noted, when the Lakers on moving on the defensive end, it translates to offense and their fast-paced play.
Los Angeles forced Phoenix to turn the ball over 19 times in comparison to their eight. The Suns outrebounded the Lakers 44-43.
This was another good productive game from Stephenson as he led the bench with 23 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. James almost had a triple-double in this win as he finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and seven rebounds through three quarters.
Despite leaving in the third quarter due to a hamstring injury, the Suns’ Devin Booker had 23 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Suns’ rookie DeAndre Ayton finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers have been without Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo as they have been serving suspensions. Rondo will be back with the team in their matchup with San Antonio on Saturday while Ingram will rejoin the team’s rotation in Minnesota on Monday.