(Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
AD, LeBron and Dwight Play Big in Lakers' Win
LeBron James wasn’t going to stay quiet for long. In fact, he never really wasn’t all that quiet.
The NBA’s fourth-leading scorer of all-time went scoreless in the first quarter, and managed only four points by halftime. But he kept the Lakers in the game with a passing display, and then erupted with his own offense late to seal a 120-101 victory over Charlotte.
James finished the night with 20 points and 12 assists. While he wasn’t always looking for his own shot, he maintained a high degree of physicality for all 35 of his minutes. Even when he was in passer mode, he found his teammates good looks by bullying his own defender, forcing help to arrive and kicking to the open man.
Quarterback LeBron pic.twitter.com/InAX6QOElV— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 28, 2019
With James facilitating, Anthony Davis went wild on the scoreboard. He led the Lakers with 29 points — including 25 in the first half — and still had the energy to dominate defensively with 14 rebounds and three blocks.
Davis even cashed from deep, hitting 3-of-5 3-pointers after struggling with his jumper for the preseason and first two games.
Splash Brow pic.twitter.com/ytrtCEs5iv— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 28, 2019
But even Davis wasn’t the most efficient Laker on this night. That distinction belonged to Dwight Howard, who hit all eight of his shot attempts on his way to a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double in only 23 minutes.
Howard and Davis were key to the Lakers’ second straight defensive domination. They held Charlotte to just 38.5 percent shooting from the field, including 28.6 from 3-point range (10-of-35).
And on the flip side, L.A. shot 52.7 percent from the field, largely thanks to a dominant inside game, as the purple and gold enjoyed a 74-44 advantage in points in the paint.
LeBron was at the heart of this, as he imposed his will for 14 fourth-quarter points.
James left no doubt about his brutality at the end of the game, bulldozing Hornets on his way to the rim, while putting on a display of finesse by splitting defenders and mixing in hop steps.
But physicality was his calling card on this night, and he let Charlotte know with a flex to signal the end of the onslaught.
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