Heading into the game against the Clippers, the Lakers were at a low point. They'd lost four straight, weren't locked in defensively and all conversations surrounding the team involved potential trades and how hot the coaching seat was for Darvin Ham.
The Clippers were on a five-game winning streak and playing arguably the best basketball in the league, so naturally, the Lakers took care of business and beat them.
Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis had productive games, but they've done that throughout this losing streak and the season, for that matter, so the difference between winning and losing rested on the shoulders of the role players.
"They were huge," Ham said after the game. "We said before the game in our pregame walkthrough right before the game just everyone – players, coaches, medical staff – everyone just lock in individually and do your job. That's it. Once everyone pitches in and does their job as long as they can as best as they can, good things usually happen and that's what you saw out their tonight; a well-balanced win. Each and every person that stepped on the floor contributed in a variety of different ways in terms of getting stops, big rebounds, obviously D'Lo made some huge shots, Taurean and Cam made a couple big threes for us down the stretch, Max, C-Wood and his defensive rebounding. Obviously, AD, Bron, everybody, Austin, everybody contributed and competed at a very high level. Vando. I'm proud of them. Now, the cat's out the bag for this one in terms of how we need to approach each and every game and everybody do it as a committee."
Sunday's win exemplified what this team can be when clicking on all cylinders. Taurean Prince hit key threes in the fourth and converted on two clutch free throws in the final seconds. Austin Reaves split a pair at the charity stripe to give the Lakers the three-point edge and contended Norman Powell's 3-point attempt to tie the game on the Clippers’ final possession and D'Angelo Russell's return gave the team an offensive spark that was absent without him.
After the game, Davis talked about how the team needs that kind of production from the other guys to reach their ultimate goal.
"It takes 'The Others' to win championships and win basketball games and these guys played phenomenal tonight," Davis said. "When these guys are playing well, it just makes me and Bron's job a lot easier. Obviously, we have ultimate trust in these guys and throwing them the basketball to make big shots and take big shots and when they're playing well, the floor opens up for us and we're able to operate and are able to make plays for us or for them."
This is the way. Ham knows the recipe. If you surround James and Davis with shooters and playmakers, they can beat even the best teams in the league on any given Sunday and in this hallway matchup, they did just that.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.