The Lakers entered the second quarter on Saturday against the Houston Rockets down 30-25. It looked like the Lakers were in for another tough competitive game against a young Rockets team led by Alperen Şengün.
However, the Lakers went on a 31-8 run to end the half thanks to Anthony Davis’ defense and Austin Reaves’ 15-point quarter to take control of the game. The highlight of the game and perhaps the season occurred during this stint when LeBron James spun like a Beyblade around two defenders to make a layup.
Following the win, though, LeBron was more focused on the team’s overall performance during this quarter.
“I think we played, that’s probably one of the best quarters that we had this year, I would say, especially in the first half,” LeBron James said. “We just haven’t been a first-half team, but that was one of the best quarters we had and it came with defending, getting out, sharing the ball, moving the ball and AR, especially in a second.”
James pointed out the Lakers haven’t been a first-half team, but the issue has especially been the first quarter. L.A. struggles to end the first 12 minutes on top and are forced to exhaust so much energy to even get back into games due to the hole they dig themselves in after the first.
While the Lakers energy was surprisingly high coming off a four-game road trip, they’ll need to keep that energy up moving forward as they continue their pursuit for the NBA Cup this week and look to string some wins together to begin climbing the Western Conference rankings.
Reaves likely cannot score 15 points in a quarter regularly, but much of what happened versus the Rockets is replicable. Cam Reddish and D’Angelo Russell deflecting passes, Reaves staying aggressive when he’s on the court and ball movement in the motion offense can and should happen every night.
The same players on the floor during this dominant stretch on Saturday play significant minutes throughout the game. If they use this performance as a template to build off of moving forward, they’ll have as good a chance as anyone to win a title this year.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.