Rondo, James and Davis Bring the Series to 2-1
It’s becoming more and more apparent how unequivocally different these two teams are. For 36 minutes in Game 3 tonight, Los Angeles and Houston took turns attacking each other’s weaknesses. There were 10 ties and 9 lead changes in the first quarter alone. But ultimately, the Lakers took back this game and came out victorious, 112-102.
It's crucial the Lakers don’t lose sight of who they are and how they play against an opponent like Houston. They cannot play to the Rockets’ style but must make Houston play to theirs. They’ve made the adjustment into a version of small ball, but still this style of play has Lakers written all over it. Markieff Morris continued to play as the backup 5 and Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma (14 pts), and Alex Caruso paid extra close attention to the outside, especially in the fourth quarter where the perimeter was locked up tighter than Fort Knox. Frank Vogel stated the team is “very comfortable with their version of smaller ball.”
The team can also find comfort in the fact that no other team in the league can replicate the style of play LeBron James (36 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) and Anthony Davis (26 pts, 15 reb, 6 ast) bring to the table. LBJ and AD combined for more than half the Lake Show’s total points tonight. Let that sink in.
LeBron James is devastating in transition.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 9, 2020
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There may not have been a spot on the floor LeBron could miss from this Tuesday evening. Turnaround jumper, step-back three, drive through the lane, this King is crafty, creative — and decorated. Tonight’s win marked the most playoff wins of all-time for LBJ. He did not stop offensively... he actually didn’t stop at all. The LeBron chasedown was seen so many times tonight, the broadcast mentioned that LBJ was giving them Dikembe Mutombo vibes.
“LeBron James is turning into Dikembe Mutombo”— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 9, 2020
(: TNT) pic.twitter.com/5u2JgNIxuq
It was announced today that the Lakers’ very own, Anthony Davis was named First Team All-Defense, so witnessing AD shut down the paint tonight was not surprising but was still very entertaining. What really made the difference for this Lakers team was Davis’ rebounds which lessened Houston’s second chances and gave his teammates more opportunities for the fast break, a specialty of the Lake Show. It could be said that AD is an anomaly, and his wingspan is that of a pterodactyl.
First Team All-Defense also loves himself an oop— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 9, 2020
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Big numbers and incredible efficiency were pillars of LeBron and AD’s performance tonight, but it was old school basketball from Rajon Rondo (21 pts, 9 ast) that took this game home. In his 14th year, not only is he a high caliber player, he’s a high caliber teammate. As a natural playmaker, he takes some of the pressure off Bron and is always looking for the dime. In fact, tonight he earned his 1,000th playoff assist. The Lakers bench outscored Houston’s 42-16 and much of that is owed to No. 9. “I took what I was given,” the vet answered when asked about his Game 3 performance.
Rajon Rondo stayin' ready.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 9, 2020
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The Conference Semifinals is in Los Angeles’ hand. And Lakers fans got a firsthand account from LeBron of what exactly fuels this team: “….anybody that’s ever stepped foot and put on the Lakers jersey we hope we make them proud as well, from Kobe all the way down to everybody who’s ever played in Los Angeles or been a part of the Los Angeles Lakers organization that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s a tradition here and it’s our responsibility, win, lose or draw to hold that with the utmost responsibility and utmost respect, and that’s what Dr. Buss would want as well.” Well said LBJ, see you Thursday for Game 4.
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