If their win over the Hawks on Friday night is anything to go by, it looks like the Lakers are turning the page.
The comfortable 134-118 win is the team’s fourth consecutive best season and brings the Lakers to 21-19 for the season, the first time they have passed 0.500 since Dec. 17.
Five players scored in double digits for the Lakers as the team knocked down 17 3-pointers with an efficiency of 41.5%, both of which are big jumps from their season averages of 12.1 marks. and 35.1% respectively. In defense, they recorded 14 interceptions against one of the league’s best offensives and scored 28 points on the Hawks’ 15 turnovers.
All this without Anthony Davis, so there was something to celebrate this Lakers victory.
LeBron James continues his superhuman stretch
In 36 minutes of playing time, LeBron James filled the stat sheet with 32 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks on 13 of 24 shots from the field.
Could you believe these are numbers recorded by a player who just turned 37? Well, the king makes it believable. According to Statmuse, James is the first player since 1975 to have recorded at least 8/30/8/3/3 at over 34 years of age.
With this game, the Lakers improve to an unbeaten 5-0 when he plays down center while on average 127 points per game. It’s not just the numbers, James is always entertaining with stellar dunks.
While posting some spectacular stats, he credits the team’s recent success to the guys returning to the roster.
“It’s that simple… We’re starting to see what we’ve got because the guys are in the lineup,” James said after the game.
Malik Monk explodes for the best of the season
Malik Monk is enjoying a career best season with the Lakers in his fifth year in the league, especially in the recent streak as a starter.
Against the Hawks, the 6-foot-3 guard burst for a season-high 29 points, with 21 coming from outside the arc.
This game takes his season’s average to a career-high 12.1 points per game. He’s also shooting a career 48.1% efficiency in the field and clocking a career-high 2.1-3 points per game with a clip of 39.7, not far from his career high. by 40.1%.
Glimpses of the Horton-Tucker Promise
After some very tough games in December, Talen Horton-Tucker put on a great game against the Hawks.
In 30 minutes, he scored 21 points, including a personal 10-0 run late in the third quarter when the Lakers really started to pull away from the Hawks. Along with that, he also delivered five assists on 7 of 13 shots from the field.
Team play on both sides
37 assists. 14 interceptions and just eight turnovers. These are numbers that most often lead to victory.
Similar to their 3-point shot, those numbers are a huge step in the right direction compared to the team’s season averages – 24.6 assists (10th best), 8.4 (7th best) and 15.3 turnovers (26th).
“We know if we don’t fight we can be tough to beat,” head coach Frank Vogel said after the game. The Lakers are averaging 17.2 points on turnovers, which ranks 25th in the league.
The challenge for the team now would be to maintain that level of play and they have a great test coming up on Sunday to do so as they host the Memphis Grizzlies, who have won seven straight wins.