Lakers Bounce Back, Beat Brooklyn to Get Preseason Win

With LeBron James and Austin Reaves making their preseason debut, the Lakers dominated the 1st half and then, with their five rookies closing things out, were able to hold on late to beat the Brooklyn Nets 129-126 to get their first preseason win on Monday night in Las Vegas.

With nearly their full roster available -- Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) and Cam Reddish (ankle) both sat out -- the Lakers bounced back with a strong offensive performance fueled both by the return of LeBron and Reaves' ability to help organize and balance the offensive initiation, but by a barrage of three pointers fueled by good ball movement and wonderful shot making.

Nine different Lakers connected from behind the arc, with six of them hitting two or more -- including four each from D'Angelo Russell and Reaves in five and six attempts respectively. Taurean Prince also bounced back from a difficult debut game on Saturday by knocking down three of his five attempts from deep vs. the Nets and five of his seven shots overall for 13 points.

In addition to Prince, seven other Lakers scored in double figures, led by Rui Hachimura's 19 points on 8-14 shooting and Reaves' 18 points on just seven attempts from the field (five makes) while hitting all four of his foul shots. Reaves also chipped in two rebounds and two assists, showing off the type of all-court game he's becoming known for in his young career.

In his first action this exhibition season, LeBron totaled 10 points, five assists, three rebounds, one steal, and one block in nearly 17 minutes of game action. Moving well and looking bouncy as he worked his way into the flow of things, LeBron oscillated between scorer and facilitator, canning jumpers from the midrange while dropping dimes to shooters and cutters alike.

Anthony Davis picked up where he left off from Saturday's game by impacting both ends of the floor at an elite level. Scoring 13 points (4-6 shooting) to go along with seven rebounds, one assist, and three blocks, AD again flashed comfort shooting his jumper (1-3 from behind the arc) and attacking the rim via drives and hard rolls into the paint. Add in his typical rim protection and Davis was a menace to the Nets in his 14 minutes of game action.

While there is still work to do on both ends of the floor, including some cleaning up of defensive possessions from some of the bench groups that played together in the second half, this was a strong overall performance from the Lakers. In the first half when they mostly played their typical rotation with more groups you might expect to see real minutes together during the regular season, the Lakers led by as many as 19 and showed a level of defensive range and outside shot-making befitting of their talent.

They will look to carry over this momentum when they return to action on Wednesday against the Kings.