Anthony Davis
(Sam Forencich/Getty Images)

Lakers reach 20 wins, stay undefeated away from STAPLES

by Rodrigo Azurmendi
Staff Writer

This team is having a lot of fun.

The Lakers swept their latest road trip Friday night, demolishing Portland to improve to 20-3 on the season and remain undefeated away from STAPLES Center.

The win clinched the third 11-game road winning streak in franchise history, and the longest one since the (unforgettable) 1972-73 season.

Frank Vogel’s squad put on a show in the first half, at times running the Trail Blazers out of their own building with a mixture of swarming defense, blinding fast breaks and hot shooting.

“Impressed with the guys’ level of energy and focus,” Vogel said. “To play on the road the way we’ve played is just impressive to me.”

The 77 points at intermission were their most in a half since they dropped 78 on the then Washington Bullets back in February of 1997. For context, Elden Campbell had a double-double that night and rookies Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher both came off the bench.

Anthony Davis had a lot to do with this one, scoring 25 of his 39 in the first half.

The former Pelican had everything going and Portland’s bigs had no answer, sending him to the free throw line 15 times on the night.

And when he wasn’t soaring for alley-oops, he was probably draining And-1 corner threes.

That, or leaving defenders in the dust with his patented spin move:

“He’s just a beast,” Vogel said.

The chemistry of this team is off the charts.

You could technically measure it in assists (26, 7th in a row with 22+) or points (season-high 136) or an excellent shooting percentage (54.1).

Or you could also count the guys running over to bring LeBron James back to life:

The King is very much alive and enjoying himself – at one point launching and making three-pointers from 27, 28, and 30 feet in the third quarter.

He finished with 31-7-8 and relished the opportunity to go toe-to-toe one more time with his old friend Carmelo Anthony – both still plenty relevant in their 16th seasons in the league.

“We have so much history”, James said. “He’s been my brother for a long time, since like 2001.”

LBJ definitely one-upped him on this particular sequence:

The rest of the team followed his lead, with contributions across the board like Dwight Howard’s 14 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma’s 15 points off the bench, JaVale McGee’s pair of blocks and Alex Caruso’s pesky defense.

In the end, the Lakers not only won all three legs of the Denver-Utah-Portland buzz saw, but did it by a combined 57 points as well.

Road warriors indeed.

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