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Lakers knock off the Warriors in Las Vegas debut

Behind yet another impressive outing from Max Christie, the Lakers won their first game of the summer.

2023 NBA Summer League - Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

After getting their first taste of Summer League basketball in the California Classic, the Lakers made their debut in the Las Vegas version on Friday, beating the Golden State Warriors, 103-96.

Much like one would expect from their regular season counterparts, the Summer League Warriors got off to a hot start from behind the arc, helping them jump out to an early lead. The Lakers settled down and quickly responded thanks to a pair of Max’s.

Behind his improved jumper, stinginess on defense and even serving up a poster, Max Christie only continued his impressive play.

With another packed stat line of 22 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks on 6-11 shooting, the 20-year-old keeps building a strong case to be a consistent part of the regular season rotation.

And after quiet showings in Sacramento, Maxwell Lewis finally showed some of the glimpses that likely enticed the Lakers to pay $4.35 million for the right to select him 40th in the draft.

Lewis knocked down a couple of shots off the dribble, but what turned heads were his eye-popping athletic tools on both ends. On multiple occasions he tried baseline dunks that wowed the crowd, and on defense he used his length to disrupt shots.

In the second half it was the Lakers who got hot from deep, as Cole Swider knocked down a pair of triples in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

For Swider, who is likely playing to keep his two-way status with the team, he has begun to warm up the past couple of games. He ended the game with 19 points and made five of his eight attempts from three.

Speaking of two-way players, one of the other bright spots of the night was the play of D’Moi Hodge. Hodge, who signed a two-way deal with the Lakers after going undrafted, got the start against the Warriors and finished with 11 points (3-8 from three) and 2 steals.

The 24-year-old showed the attributes that likely helped put him on the Lakers’ radar with his shooting stroke (40% from three in college) and his defense (2022 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year).

After holding onto a double-digit lead, the Warriors made a run in the fourth quarter to get within six. But behind a pair of threes from Christie and Swider, the Lakers were able to keep them at bay to notch their first win of the summer.

Next up, the Lakers take on No. 2 pick Brandon Miller and the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

You can follow Alex on Twitter at @AlexmRegla.

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