The Phoenix Suns were able to beat up on the Los Angeles Lakers 115-105 on Friday but LeBron James thinks Cameron Payne might be getting a little ahead of himself.
During the blowout James had a message for the Suns bench guard, who has become quite the cocky adversary for the Lakers, dating back to last season.
“C’mon now. You was at home a year and a half ago. Now you wanna pop off?” James barked at Payne from the bench. “Stay humble.”
Payne finished with just four points and three rebounds. He was a thorn in the Lakers’ side during their first-round series, stepping up with Chris Paul banged up. He scored in double digits in four out six games, including a 19-point outing in Game 2.
Lakers Dealing With Early Adversity
Things have been a bit testy early on for the Lakers, who were considered the favorite in the Western Conference but have stumbled out of the gate with their new-look roster. While they made things closer against Phoenix late, it was a tough watch for the purple and gold faithful for most of the night.
“I’m OK with adversity, honestly,” Lakers new star guard Russell Westbrook said Saturday. “I never panic throughout the course of a season. Especially at the start of the season. There’s really no need to. The season is too long and nobody is winning nothing right now.
“Yes, it’s good to get off to a good start and feel good about yourself, but especially me personally, I like to make sure that I’m — as the season goes on — I’m constantly just getting better and better and better as the season prolongs. And making sure that my team and my teammates are getting better as well as we all get comfortable with each other.”
Westbrook is looking to find his niche on the Lakers playing alongside James and Anthony Davis. After his miserable opener, he looked more like himself against the Suns, notching 15 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis Address Bench Confrontation
The Lakers were also barking at each other during the loss, with Davis and Dwight Howard going at it on the bench, yelling and pushing each other. The Lakers have played it off like it was no big deal.
“When you’re getting your ass kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Those guys love each other. They talked it out. And that’s going to happen from time to time. I’d rather our guys care than not care.”
Davis said the argument was over pick-and-roll coverage. Both big men are eager to move on from it.
“It’s over with,” Davis said, explaining that the dispute was over failed execution on their pick-and-roll coverage. “After the situation happened, me and DH, we talked about it and we left it at that.”