LeBron James lauds Lakers’ chemistry after 81-point 2nd half
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers have now won nine games in a row after making easy work of LeBron James’ former squad in the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night at the Staples Center, 128-99. Although the Cavs gave the Lakers a run in the first half, the second half was a different story as the storied franchise turned it on and never looked back.
Los Angeles scored 81 points in the second half against the Cavs, which is the highest total in a half by this franchise dating back to Nov. 17, 1987, when the Lakers scored 84 against the Portland Trail Blazers. Even without Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion), who missed his third straight game, the Lakers were able to figure out a way to get it done and notch their 33rd win of the season.
After the game, LeBron talked about the team’s chemistry and how it doesn’t falter even if the Lakers don’t have one of their star players on the floor. Dwight Howard has been doing a solid job filling in for Davis while he deals with his injury. Howard hit another 3-pointer on Monday night, along with adding 21 points and 15 rebounds to the stat sheet.
“I think it’s an incredible thing, what we have right now, as far as chemistry and as far as guys always being ready no matter who’s in the lineup and tonight was another example of that,” James said.
“With AD out, we’re missing 27 points a game,” James said. “Everyone has to chip in offensively. I’m not saying to cover that — because you can’t cover what he does — but just try and step up your game a little bit more too. That’s basically what it is from all of us, not just myself.”
James finished with a game-high 31 points to go along with eight assists and two rebounds. He didn’t have a typical night on the glass but played well otherwise by shooting an efficient 12-for-16 from the floor while helping shoulder the load without Davis.
Jared Dudley took it a step further when talking about the chemistry of this Lakers squad.
“Best chemistry I’ve had with a team,” Dudley said.
The Lakers will now prepare to host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night before embarking on another tough road trip in which they’ll play six games away from Staples before taking on the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 28. The Clippers are the only team in the league this season that has been able to get the best of Frank Vogel’s squad on two separate occasions.
This team is rolling at just the right time while being able to dominate the competition. Still, the toughest challenges remain ahead with matchups against the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers before taking on Kawhi Leonard and company for a third time this season.