The Lakers’ new big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook finally shared the court for the first time but the purple and gold still fell short of their first preseason win despite a major talent advantage over the Warriors sans Steph Curry and Draymond Green on Tuesday, losing 111-99. The loss keeps L.A. winless in five preseason games.
Davis was the most impressive of the Lakers’ superstars offensively, dropping a team-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting along with six rebounds and a nice 6-9 performance from the free-throw line. He looked comfortable running the floor with familiar faces in James and Rajon Rondo and connected with the latter on some pretty alley-oops in the second quarter.
James fared slightly worse, notching 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting. He had six rebounds and four assists but also six turnovers. Westbrook also struggled with just 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting. The Lakers’ newest star seemed focused on trying to facilitate the offense, notching 10 rebounds and six assists, but also five turnovers, though that latter statistic does not seem to concern him.
Neither of the Lakers’ other two starters, Carmelo Anthony and Kent Bazemore, looked that impressive either. Anthony scored 13 points 4-of-12 shooting and was 2-of-7 from deep. Bazemore dropped just six points on 2-of-6 shooting and 1-of-3 from beyond the arc. Each of the Lakers’ starters played at least 20 minutes, led by Davis with 30.
Austin Reaves looked impressive in his 27 minutes off the bench, dropping 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting and generally hustling more than the veterans whose rotation spots on this team are assured. Reaves’ most memorable segment came at the end of the third quarter when he calmy secured a Westbrook miss, dribbled out beyond the left elbow and drained a three-point shot to trim the Lakers’ deficit to 85-84.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, role Reaves gets in the absence of fellow wings Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker, both of whom will miss significant time due to injury.
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