Do not look now, but the Los Angeles Lakers are making some noise in the Western Conference. On Tuesday night, at the Staples Center, the Lakers defeated the Brooklyn Nets by a final score of 125-118 to improve to 7-5 on the season.
The Nets, who got pummeled last night against the Los Angeles Clippers, started out well. They hung in throughout the majority of the opening 12 minutes. Trevor Booker scored four quick points in the first two minutes, giving the Nets a quick 6-5.
Then, the Lakers went on a little run to take an early lead. D’Angelo Russell hit two three pointers to rush out to a 16-10 advantage. Russell hit five three pointers early on, as he finished with game high 32 points. From the floor, the second-year Laker went 11-20, which included a whopping 7 three-pointers made on the night.
The lead got pushed to eight after Timofey Mozgov hit a jump shot. Unlike last night, the Nets were able to fight stay competitive.
Randle finishes with a triple-double
Julius Randle was held scoreless during the first 12 minutes of the game. It took 18 minutes and 17 seconds before Randle scored the first of 17 points en route to a triple-double. He added 14 rebounds and 10 assists to boost his stats on a stellar night.
“He’s figuring out and starting to believe what he can really do in the league,” said Luke Walton on Randle’s performance (quotes via @LakersReporter).
To finish off his triple-double, Randle ran the length of the court with the ball in his hand. He got to the rim before laying off a pass to Mozgov to finish off the move with a dunk.
Even late in the night, the Nets managed stayed in sight of the Lakers, but never managed to overcome a six point deficit to begin the final 12 minutes. Every time Brooklyn tried to get back into the game, the Lakers responded.
Brandon Ingram did not have much of an impact off the bench until late in the fourth quarter. There, Ingram made four free throws in a row. Those last two attempts from the charity strike made a likely comeback for the Nets inevitable as the Lakers extended their edge to 123-114.
Luke Walton said on Ingram’s play late said, “He’s a winner. He’s not afraid of the moment. He has a great feel for the game.”
This run to start the season for the Lakers may hit a lull soon with a tough stretch of games coming up. Not only do they have to play 18 games in 30 days, most of those games will come against strong opposition. That starts this Friday when they welcome in the San Antonio Spurs.
Meanwhile, the Nets need to turn things around as they slip to 4-7. It does not get any better as they travel to face Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.