LeBron James and Anthony Davis played their first game in over two months on Wednesday, and it showed in the first quarter. Their effort waned, and even when they were engaged, they didn’t look like themselves. That’s not a problem at this stage of the season, but it was a sight to behold, for sure.
Then, for some reason, James and Davis decided to flip the switch in the second quarter and helped the Lakers go on a run that led to them leading by as much as 14 points. When they added Talen Horton-Tucker to the mix, it seemed like the game was over, and for the Lakers, it kind of was.
Before the game, Vogel announced that James and Davis would only play in the first half and he kept his word, even when the Suns’ starters helped their team pull away early in the third quarter. After James and Davis were pulled out, it would have been fine if the Lakers coasted to the finish line, but they obviously didn’t feel the same way.
In the fourth quarter, Horton-Tucker and Kyle Kuzma helped the Lakers rally and they came all the way back to win the game 112-107. Kuzma led all scorers with 23 points on 8-15 shooting from the field, while Horton-Tucker was second in scoring with 18 points on 7-11 shooting from the field. Wednesday marked the first game that Horton-Tucker didn’t lead the Lakers in scoring.
Outside of Horton-Tucker and Kuzma turning in another encouraging performance for the Lakers, there was no real takeaway from Wednesday’s game. We know the Lakers are going to be when James and Davis are on the floor and engaged, and when they’re not, they’re going to need guys to step up. On Wednesday, it was Kuzma and Horton-Tucker. On other nights, it could be one of their two Sixth Man of the Year candidates.
They’re going to be just fine.
The Lakers will play their fourth and final preseason contest on Friday. Hopefully that game is just as fun as Wednesday’s game.