The Lakers jumped out to an early lead against the Nets but slowly saw that wither away before the half. With a competitive game well into the fourth quarter, the Lakers used the opportunity to get LeBron James and Anthony Davis a bit more runtime on the court as each wound up playing 25 minutes, an uptick from their 18 apiece last game.
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Lakers Struggle to Score Late in Preseason Loss to Nets
The additional presence of James and Davis in the second half proved not to be enough as the Nets buried three-pointer after three-pointer to overcome any Laker runs and keep them in the game. DeAndre Jordan stepped up in the game’s closing minutes to give the Lakers fits as he blocked a number of shots to help seal the Nets’ win. The Lakers would give the Nets a scare, tying things up with 28 seconds to go but would be unable to pull off the win.
The defense gave up too many open looks and inevitably spoiled excellent offensive performances from Rajon Rondo, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. Rondo was stellar from three and poured in a staggering 18 points in only 24 minutes.
James and Davis posted strong stat lines, scoring 20 and 16 respectively, though neither was as efficient as they would have liked to be. Both shot under 50% from the field and struggled to finish through contact near the rim. Davis was essentially a nonfactor on the boards finishing with only 2 after posting double-digit figures in his first preseason game.
While the Nets had to deal with it as well, the time change and hostile atmosphere surrounding the game probably played large factors as to why the Lakers looked a little flat compared to their first preseason game. There should be no shame in losing to a playoff team from last year – and one that got better at that – though they would like to get some revenge as they match up with the Nets for a second showdown in China on the 12th.
Devontae Cacok Making Name for Himself in Lakers’ Preseason
Following up on a strong Summer League showing, undersized big man Devontae Cacok is starting to make some waves at the next level with his high octane play. Cacok’s raw box score numbers won’t blow anyone away but he plays with infectious energy and seems to always be in a position to make the big play when the Lakers need one.
Sometimes Cacok can seem to play with a bit TOO much energy, though with time, the youngster should learn to play with more controlled chaos. With plus athleticism and a motor second to none, Cacok has the intangible tools to be an impact player in the NBA at some point down the line. Despite his intangibles, Cacok doesn’t have a refined game on either side of the ball right now and needs to find a way to keep his foul numbers down in order to stay on the court consistently.
On an Exhibit 10 deal and likely bound for the South Bay squad, Cacok could be a name worth keeping an eye on. Given the Lakers’ track record of developing quality talent in the G-League, Cacok should be in good hands and seems to have the tools necessary to succeed.