LeBron James layup vs. Pelicans

LeBron and Lakers Protect Their House vs. Pelicans

by Taylor Geas

For a big part of the beginning of tonight’s game, the Lakers took a backseat to the New Orleans Pelicans, but then things changed. At half the squad shrunk their deficit and were only behind by one. And then with at the start of a third, behind a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope triple (16 pts), the team took the lead and rode that momentum to a 112-95 win.

It was another team win tonight, spearheaded by LeBron James (21 pts, 11 ast, 8 reb). That’s what happens when you have a cohesive team of guys doing their part — six guys in double figures. But more than scoring, it was the Lakers’ passing that was spectacular tonight. In the second half of the match, the squad looked connected by a string. Their fluidity was that of a team that’s played together for years, when they’ve only been together for 14 games. The cuts were precise and split passes were well-received.

But the change of game pace came from the team’s stellar defensive performance. It was the quality defense that influenced the offense. The adjustment was led by Anthony Davis (17 pts, 6 reb, 3 blk, 3 stl). Davis stays undefeated against his former team. His defensive style of play had a trickle effect on his teammates. It was AD’s stops on the Lakers’ side of the floor that instituted the fast break tonight.

But the Lakers fast break isn’t a fast break without LBJ. Bron was two rebounds away from a triple-double. The King is 36 years old, but still leads his team in points and assists. When asked how he does it postgame he responded, “I prepare my body, prepare my mind.” LeBron is a leader like no other. When asked what his favorite part of this team is, he replied, “That we continue to get better. I feel like we got better again.”

Getting better looks to be the mentality from every guy on the roster. Tonight, we saw Kyle Kuzma (11 pts) garner 13 rebounds. Kuz said that he’s “Just trying to get in where I fit in, just trying to find my role on this team.” Hard work must be the standard because whoever steps on the floor draped in the Purple and Gold brings an energy that inspires every member of the squad to turn their level of play up a notch. This has been Montrezl Harrell’s (16 pts) MO every game this season. Trez is like a match to a team of firecrackers. He steps out on that court and the Show ignites.

Now, the Lake Show has the weekend off — and so do you. Catch your guys Monday as they take on the Golden State Warriors and honor Dr. King on MLK Day. Until then, Lakers Family.

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