Kyle Kuzma layup vs Houston

Lakers Unveiled Championship Banner & Grabbed a W

by Taylor Geas

It was Banner Night here in Los Angeles this fine Wednesday in May. After seven months, the 2020 NBA Champions and members of the Lakers Family raised their seventeenth championship banner in the rafters of STAPLES Center.

How fitting that right before the Lakers prepare to embark on a postseason journey, they recognize their highest achievement of last season. Tonight the guys faced Houston. And because the Purple and Gold have not secured their playoff spot, these last remaining games hold some weight. The defending champs were able to notch their third straight win over the Rockets, 124-122.

Lakers 2019-20 Championship Banner

The Lakers decreased their total turnovers from yesterday and created some separation for a while, but with about 30 seconds left, the Lake Show gave up the ball on a turnover and the Rockets went up by one. Kyle Kuzma (19 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast) accepted a pass with about 12 seconds to go at the top of the arc. Kuz Control drove confidently through the lane and dodged the double-team with a Euro Step to knock down the winning shot. When Houston had a chance to answer, Wesley Matthews said no way to Kelly Olynyk (24 pts, 8 ast, 6 reb) off the dribble.

This game was marked by another lengthy injured reserve list which included: LeBron James, Dennis Schröder, Anthony Davis, and Alex Caruso. With almost all point guards tied up barring Talen Horton-Tucker, (23 pts, 10 ast) the young gun emerged tonight and flourished as a leader and leading scorer. His drives didn’t lack an ounce of confidence, in fact, they embodied pure gusto. And on his way to earning a double-double, the 20-year-old displayed such a keen vision on the floor as he fired off dimes.

Andre Drummond (20 pts, 10 reb) was the second name on the double-double list for this game (Kuz was the third). The Lakers reached their new season-high points in the paint tonight with 74 in the third quarter, ultimately finishing with 86 — a new franchise record. The big fella did some serious damage down there, bully ball and all, Drum was climbing to this new record with his teammates Kuz and Montrezl Harrell (16 pts) right behind him.

The Lakers have two more tests away from home this weekend. What momentum they have right now to hopefully take them to the next part of their journey. It never gets old witnessing team members step up amid unpredictable injuries, but it’s going to be a great day when the whole team unites on the floor — hopefully, the day is right around the corner.

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