The Lakers got big nights from both Anthony Davis and LeBron James in their 126-93 rout of the Golden State Warriors, who were without superstar Stephen Curry for the evening. However, arguably the strongest showing came off the bench from guard Quinn Cook – making his preseason debut for the Lakers.
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Lakers, Quinn Cook Torch Warriors While Steph Curry Rests
Cook came out and carried the Lakers’ second unit along with Dwight Howard. The two created a fearsome inside-outside duo that allowed the Lakers to continue building on the big lead the starting unit helped establish. Finishing with the second-most points in the game (16) while playing only 15 minutes, Cook showed just how dangerous he can be as both an off and on-ball shooting threat from the bench.
The Lakers’ second unit is desperate for scoring to hold the team over while James and Davis rest and Cook seems to be a great fit to function either as a lead guard while James sits, or a floor-spacing, off-ball threat when the two share the court.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis had monster nights, as has become routine against this banged-up version of the Warriors. James went off for 18 points, 11 assists, and four rebounds while Davis chipped in with eight points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Playing 25 and 28 minutes respectively, Frank Vogel seems to be starting to get his superstars closer to a regular-season workload of 30+ minutes per game.
Avery Bradley had another strong night on both ends of the floor and looks to be working his way into Vogel’s starting lineup. His ability to harass opposing point guards while knocking down open looks from deep – he was four of five tonight – seem to be an ideal fit alongside LeBron James. While Bradley isn’t the former NBA All-Defensive player he once was, he still poses a stiff challenge on the perimeter for any opposing lead guard.
Lakers to Face Warriors in Final Preseason Game
After another strong showing against the Warriors, the two teams head back to the bay for one final preseason matchup before the regular season starts. Sitting at 3-0 against the Warriors so far, the Lakers have done an excellent job of exploiting the gaping holes in the Warriors frontcourt. With both Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein out with injuries, Davis, McGee, and Howard have routinely feasted on the likes of Omari Spellman, Eric Paschall, and Marquese Chriss. Don’t expect the gameplan or outcome to change on Friday – even with Steph Curry back.
Even though the Lakers’ frontcourt has dominated against the Warriors, they struggled with the Nets’ excellent duo of Deandre Jordan and Jarett Allen. It will be interesting to see if those struggles were due to the drastic time difference in China or an overall deficiency against elite interior teams. Either way, they won’t face another NBA-caliber frontcourt for the remainder of the preseason so we won’t know until the regular season kicks off.