The Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to seven games – and the NBA's best record at 7-1 – with a 95-80 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday at the Staples Center behind another. dominant performance from their superstar duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
In the 35th minute Davis tallied 26 points on a good 11-17 shot to go with 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks. However, James will likely get the ball game after rewriting his former team's history.
With 25 points Friday, James became the only third player in NBA history to have at least 1,000 games with 20 more. The other players? Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two players who also donated purple and gold during their domestic violence, though the former obviously did not have as much success in Los Angeles as the latter.
Outside of their superstar duo, the Lakers got the best minute they got from JaVale McGee of all time, as he scored 9 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. He took the slack from Dwight Howard, who finished the game without a block for the first time this season.
Of course, Alex Caruso also got meaningful minutes from Alex Caruso. Caruso does not fill the box mark, but he does well when he is on the floor and applies pressure to the team's offense, as before.
He did the same.
Unfortunately, it wasn't a great night for everyone. Kyle Kuzma has looked rusty since returning to court last week, but he has looked especially against the Heat. At 24:32, Kuzma scored 7 points on 3-9 shooting from the field, including 1-7 shooting from behind the arc. He also turned the ball over a game high four times.
It's too early to say Kuzma's fit with the new-look Lakers is awkward, but if he can't make a 3-pointer at a high clip, it's going to be difficult for him to make an impact when offensive as James and Davis were on the floor. The good news is that his defense has yet to return to the world, and if he keeps his minutes he won't take too much. However, for his sake and for the team, he will have to wait for him to start shooting.
The Lakers will try and tie their longest winning streak since the 2010-11 season on Sunday, when they were visited by the reigning champion Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are 6-2 on the season – good enough for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. This will be a good test for the Lakers, who have now shown they are willing to do it for anyone.
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