For much of the last two seasons, the Lakers Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have struggled to even get on the floor together. There’s been little discussion or focus on even getting the trio to play well alongside one another given the scarcity it has happened.
This season, though, the injury bug hasn’t bitten quite so strong and the result has been the Big 3 playing 12 games and 159 minutes so far. Comparatively, last season the trio played just 393 minutes across 21 games.
The list, then, of the best performances from the trio together is a rather short one, comprised of just 33 games, some of those not even complete contests. And Friday pretty easily tops the list of the best outings the Big 3 has had, as noted by LeBron postgame.
LeBron James says that he feels like the win over the Bucks tonight was the best game that him, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have played together since LA traded for Westbrook.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 3, 2022
The overlapping skillsets between LeBron and Russ have often hindered both in their ability to be simultaneously effective. On Friday, though, the pair played off of one another perfectly, combining for 22 assists and zero turnovers, a truly remarkable feat against one of the very best defenses in the league.
For the trio to really find effectiveness, some combination of them have to knock down shots from the outside as well and that was the case from LeBron and AD on Friday as the pair hit five of their nine attempts from range.
Ultimately, though, it helps when Anthony Davis continues his incredible run this season, pouring in 44 points on 18-27 shooting. Pair that with some timely shots from LeBron in the fourth quarter, and you get a formula for victory. In fact, LeBron, AD and Russ scored all 32 of the Lakers’ fourth-quarter points, the former two of those accounting for 28 of them.
It was Westbrook, though, that came up with the play of the night down the stretch. His hustle play to dive for a loose ball and eventually create a turnover led to an AD dunk that played a big role in sealing the win.
Even if it is a short list of impressive performances from the Big 3, this would be at or near the top of any list. It was a dominant display against one of the best teams in the league on the road. The hope now is that this is the trio learning to play with one another and not a blip in an otherwise woeful era.