The Los Angeles Lakers were able to earn their first win of the season against the Phoenix Suns on their home turf at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The new-look Lakers were able to dominate throughout all four quarters with ease as the Suns couldn’t find the defensive chemistry to provide them with an opportunity to win.
With that said, check out full highlights from tonight’s 131-113 Los Angeles Lakers win in the video above.
The Lakers Increase Their Defensive Intensity
Chemistry has been a huge missing factor in the gelling of this year’s LA Lakers team. Initially, players lacked on-court communication and often found themselves flat-footed on both sides of the ball. And with defense being a focal point for Luke Walton to establish early in the season, the Lakers performance against the Suns was exceptional.
If you want to remain effective on the defensive end of the ball, you have to take care of the rock and the Lakers held themselves to only two turnovers throughout the first three quarters of the game. The Lakers were also able to add to their lead scoring a total of 24 points off of Phoenix Suns turnovers.
The Suns committed a total of 20 turnovers to the Lakers eight which allowed them to control the pace of the game. While also doing a good job of playing the Suns’ passing lanes and anticipating their ball movement habits in order to acquire timely steals.
Devin Booker Impresses But Could Potentially Be Seriously Injured
Devin Booker was able to knock down a total of 23 points on 8-15 shooting from the field. Booker also grabbed seven rebounds and dished off seven assists in only 29 minutes of gameplay. Unfortunately, Booker left the game early after tweaking his left hamstring going to the basket early in the third quarter.
The overall 13th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft has been able to increase his productivity and stat line every year. In Booker’s rookie year, he averaged a total of 13.8 points per game. Followed by his sophomore year in which he averaged 22.1 points per game. Now, in the 2018-19 season, Booker is currently averaging an impressive 29.3 points per game.
Watching Booker progress so quickly in his young career is helping him solidify his superstar status in this new generation of NBA basketball. Let’s just hope he’s not seriously injured and can continue to lead the Phoenix Suns to prominence in this tough Western Conference.
The Lakers Reserves Step Up in The Absence of Brandon Ingram & Rajon Rondo
By now, the NBA community is aware of why both Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram are suspended, which has caused a problem for the rotation of this new-look Lakers squad.
Tonight Lakers’ reserve Josh Hart got the nod to start at the two-guard position and was able to play at a high-level against a confident Phoenix Suns team. Hart was able to be effective from behind the arc shooting 4-6 from three-point land and notching a total of 15 points in 26 minutes. Hart also remained aggressive on the defensive side of the ball gathering two steals.
Despite being a starter, JaVale McGee also impressed Laker fans knocking in a total of 20 points in 24 minutes. McGee also knocked down 1-2 from behind the arc but got back to his seven-footer roots blocking a total of four shots throughout the game.
Fan-favorite Lance Stephenson scored a team-high of 23 points in the Lakers first win of the season and even facilitated from the point guard position while he was on the floor. Of course, he wouldn’t be Lance without doing some dancing on the court as he also was able to grab eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals in 25 minutes of play.
Lebron James & Kyle Kuzma Factor Could Lead The Lakers To The Playoffs
Surprisingly, Lebron James had a rather quiet game to be considered the current greatest basketball player on the planet. James was able to log 19 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, and three assists in only 28 minutes of play.
However, a new sense of on-court chemistry between Kyle Kuzma and Lebron James is unfolding right before our eyes. On several occasions throughout the game, Kuzma and James played a fluid two-man game that consisted of nonverbal communication and on-spot location that allowed them to both thrive on both sides of the court. Kyle Kuzma was able to knock down 17 points on 7-15 shooting from the field in 29 minutes of action.
The Lakers have to face a crafty Denver Nuggets team, tomorrow, Oct. 25th at 7:30 pm PST at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Can the Lakers get their first back-to-back wins of the season tomorrow? If they can continue to mesh, communicate, and remain active of defense, the possibilities are endless.