Barclays Center– Lebron James never shy away from the bright lights of the city of New York. In front of a sold-out crowd with many Lakers fans in attendance the Lakers and James did not disappoint their loyal subjects. It was a very electric and fun atmosphere for both teams regardless of the outcome
LA came into Brooklyn and beat up on the Nets giving them their fifth straight loss, 128-113, Thursday night at Barclays Center.
James finished the game with 27 points, 12 boards and 10 assists and the crowd gave him a huge ovation as he departed the court with just a little over three minutes left on the clock.
The Lakers made 50 percent of their shots and 50 percent of their shots from downtown, with Danny Green hitting a team-high four of them. Six players scored in double figures: Anthony Davis (16), Dwight Howard (14) each contributed double-doubles and Danny Green chipped in 14 points as well. Howard started in place of JaVale McGee, who missed the game with an illness.
That lost made it five straight losses and 2-12 in the last 14 games. They’re 18-25 this year, barely hanging onto the eighth seed spot.
Both teams combined for 145 points by halftime.
“That was sort of the halftime message, as a team, to lock in defensively and guard,” Vogel said. “We relied on the positive experience of last night in the Knicks game, where we were OK in the first half but really raised our level in the second half, held them to 34% shooting. We did the same thing tonight. It was a great defensive effort in the second half.”
Kyrie Irving found a bit of a rhythm after a sluggish start, by closing Los Angeles’ margin to one after trailing by as many as 13 in the third quarter, 95-94. The Lakers spaced the floor and worked the paint area to go on a 22-2 run, capped off by a bucket by King James.
The Lakers also dominated the Nets on the blocks, scoring 16 second-chance points while out-rebounding them 52-41 for the night. Offense wasn’t the issue for the Nets, more so the defense. They simply had no answers for the Lakers’ down-low presence.
It was 117-96 with a little under seven minutes left on the clock. At that point, Brooklyn had missed nine out of their last 10 treys and scored only two points in the first 6:50 of the fourth quarter.
The Lakers had enough stamina to sweep a New York City back-to-back and improve to 36-9. The loss dropped Brooklyn to 18-25.
“Coach kind of reminded us tonight that we were 12-0 on back-to-backs, but we just tried not to fall into the trap of being tired or anything of that nature,” Davis said. “Not having fresh legs. Everybody plays back-to-backs. Guys have been in the league a long time know how it feels I think it makes us lock in a lot more, we knew it was probably going to be tight on a back-to-back, but we just try to fight through it and come up with wins.”
The Lakers eclipsed 100 points before the third quarter ended with a celebration following a buzzer-beating trey from Jared Dudley.
Although the Nets cut the deficit to three points in the third quarter, the Lakers pulled away in the fourth. They allowed Brooklyn to score only 43 points in the second half.
“You want to see your team respond to poor performances,” Vogel said. “I put a challenge on our guys to do that early in the season this year. We had the one losing streak right around Christmas, and for the rest of the year, we’ve had great responses to poor performances. It was great to get a win last night. Our guys have shown great mental toughness to win on back-to-backs.”