The Los Angles Lakers added a few pieces to their team in the offseason. They brought in guys like Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan and brought in two guys from their 2020 championship team in Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo, but they have gotten off to a slow start.
On Friday, the Lakers(0-2) dropped their second straight game as they were defeated by the Suns(1-1) 115-105 at Staples Center.
The loss is not too concerning when you consider it’s only the second game of the season. However, what might be more concerning is what transpired on the team’s bench between Howard and Anthony Davis.
The two got into a shoving match in the second quarter after a Suns timeout.
Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard have an altercation on the bench. 😳
After the game, both Howard and Davis said it was squashed.
“We squashed it right then and there,” Howard said. “We just had a disagreement about something that was on the floor… We’re grown men, things happen. But we are going to squash this little issue between me and him, and that’s my brother, that’s my teammate.”
Davis, who had 22 points and 14 rebounds on Friday night, added: “After the situation happened, me and DH, we talked about it, and we left it at that.”
According to Davis, the argument started over an issue with their pick-and-roll defense.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel says stuff like this happens when you’re losing:
“When you’re getting your a** kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated,” he said. “They talked it out, and that’s going to happen from time to time.”
Howard did not play in the second half, but Vogel said it had nothing to do with the incident with Davis.
In an 82-game season, stuff like this does happen. This could bring the Lakers closer, and we’ll see the impact this altercation may have on Los Angeles going forward.
The Los Angeles Lakers had their first home playoff game in eight years at Staples Center, and they took full advantage of it. Behind Anthony Davis’ 34 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, and LeBron James’ 21 points, nine assists, and six rebounds. The Lakers defeated the Suns 109-95 in Game 3 of their first-round best of seven game series.
Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Booker scored 19 points.
The Lakers lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. This game turned in the third quarter. The Lakers outscored the Suns by 10 points and led by as many as 17 points in the third. Davis scored 18 points in the quarter, while James added 10 points. The Lakers never looked back, and now they have control of this series.
There were a lot of interesting subplots in this game. In the fourth quarter, LeBron James went head-to-head with Phoenix’s Jae Crowder and scored on a reverse layup, which excited the Lakers bench and the Staples Center crowd. Crowder would be ejected in the fourth. Also, late in the fourth, Booker would get ejected after being called for a Flagrant two foul. Booker shoved Dennis Schroder, who had 20 points in Game 3, while he was in the air.
“That wasn’t a basketball play, and regular season, it’s probably a suspension as well,” Schroder said after the game.
“It’s a dirty play,” Davis said. “Dennis could’ve really gotten hurt right there.”
James added: “I thought the play wasn’t a basketball play.”
Suns PG Chris Paul, who is battling a shoulder injury, came into Thursday’s action 0-10 in playoffs games refereed by Scott Foster. After losing to the Lakers, Paul is now 0-11 in games officiated by Foster.
Paul never mentioned Foster by name, but at the end of his post-game interview, Paul had this to say:
“11 in a row.”
Watching Paul, who had seven points, six assists, and five rebounds in Game 3, struggle is brutal. Phoenix may have to make a tough decision and sit Paul down because right now, he has been ineffective. In his place, Cameron Payne has played well. Payne scored 15 points and dished out six assists on Thursday night and had a strong Game 2, so it might be time to turn to Payne.
It should be interesting to see how Paul and the Suns respond in Game 4 on Sunday, which is a must-win situation for this team.
The Dallas Mavericks moved up in the standing after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 115-110 at American Airlines Center on Thursday night. With the win, Dallas(32-26) and Portland(32-26) are tied for the sixth spot in the Western Conference.
Dallas, who have won two straight, concludes their five-game homestand when they play the Lakers(35-24) in the second game of their two-game set on Saturday night.
Luka Doncic again led the way for the Mavericks with 30 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. He now leads the NBA this season with 18 games of 30-plus points, five-plus rebounds, and five-plus assists.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Lakers with a season and team-high 29 points, including six threes, and Dennis Schroder added 25.
After the game, Doncic reacted to moving on up to sixth-seed in the Western Conference.
“I think that’s great,” he said. “We’re just trying to get into the playoffs. No matter how we’re not trying to be in the Play-In Tournament. We’re trying to keep moving up.”
While they got the victory, not all was good for the Mavericks. Kristaps Porzingis, who had 19 points and six rebounds, left the game in the third quarter due to a left ankle sprain.
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is hoping the injury is not too severe.
“[Kristaps Porzingis’] left ankle — he rolled it [and we’re] uncertain as to the severity,” Carlisle said. “We’re hoping it’s not too severe. I don’t think he’s been ruled out for Saturday yet, but with ankles, a lot of it’s about how the player is feeling the next morning. We’ll see where he is tomorrow. He was in pretty good spirits After the game. He is walking. He’s not in a boot or anything at this point, although he has it wrapped with some elastic tape. Anyhow, we had a lot of guys contribute.”
While Los Angeles was still without LeBron James, Thursday marked the return of Anthony Davis, who missed 30 games due to a calf injury. Davis finished with four points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.
“I felt fine,’ Davis said. “My wind felt better than expected. I had looks that I missed, but I felt good out there to give the team some juice. Going through the second half was tough watching everything that was happening and not being able to play, though.”
Defeating the Lakers on Thursday night was not easy, and beating the Lakers on Saturday night will probably be even more challenging for Dallas, especially if they don’t have Porzingis. But, if they want to continue to move up in the standings, they have to keep winning.