LeBron James helps Lakers hold off Wizards to complete a successful trip

LeBron James grabs a rebound during the first half. (John McDonnell / Associated Press)

The challenge, the Lakers said, was as much mental as anything else. Six games in nine days including contests against some of the worst teams in the league, a stretch that closed Wednesday against the Wizards.

“Those are teams, respectfully, that we should beat,” D’Angelo Russell said the night prior.

And even though the Wizards had just upset the Milwaukee Bucks, the Wizards were another win the Lakers were supposed to get.

That didn’t mean it was going to be easy.

Road weary from a trip that took them from Milwaukee to Memphis to Indiana to Brooklyn and to Toronto before reaching Washington, D.C., the Lakers needed to find some last bit of reserve fuel to finish things off.

Having seen their 17-point lead reduced to just two in the fourth quarter, LeBron James made sure the offense would be flat-footed no more. He attacked the Wizards zone. Soared for a two-handed dunk and triggered a run that gave the Lakers a 125-120 win and a 5-1 late-season trip.

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“I think offensively we’ve been very consistent. Our ball movement, sharing the ball. We still got to crack down on some of the unforced turnovers, but we’re all in a good rhythm playing off one another,” James said. “I think defensively, we’ve been been good at times. We can be a lot better at times, but when we’ve needed to get stops, we’ve got it done for this whole trip.”

The dunk came after Washington had a chance to take its first lead since the opening quarter, but the Wizards missed two threes on the same possession before the Lakers responded by scoring 12 straight.

“We just [weren’t] doing what we’re supposed to against a zone. We were taking a lot of quick shots or turning it over. We didn’t run one zone offense that we have in our playbook,” Anthony Davis said. “And then I think when they cut it to two, we said, ‘Hey, let’s run our zone offense.’ And it was pretty much over after that.”

Davis scored 35 and grabbed 18 rebounds, staying in the game after a…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/lebron-james-helps-lakers-hold-013534618.html

Author : LA Times

Publish date : 2024-04-04 01:35:34

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