The Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to seven games – and the NBA's best record to 7-1 – with a 95-80 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday at the Staples Center behind yet another dominating performance from their superstar duo by Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
In 35 minutes, Davis calculated 26 points on an effective 11-17 shooting to go with 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks. But it was James who will probably get the playing ball after making history again for his former team.
With 25 points on Friday, James became only the third player in NBA history to have at least 1
Outside of their super star duo, the Lakers got the best minutes they got from JaVale McGee all season, as he got 9 points and made 10 rebounds. He picked up the slave from Dwight Howard, who finished the game without blocks for the first time this season.
Of course, Los Angeles also got meaningful minutes from Alex Caruso from the bench again. Caruso did not fill the box, but he was effective when lying on the floor and exerted pressure on the opposing team's offense, as always.
He did too.
Unfortunately, it was not a good night for everyone. Kyle Kuzma has looked rusty since returning to the court last week, but he looked especially against the Heat. At 24:32, Kuzma got 7 points on 3-9 shots from the field, including 1-7 shots behind the arc. He also turned the ball over a pitch four times.
It's far too early to say that Kuzma's fit with the new Lakers look is cumbersome, but if he can't make 3-pointers on a high clip, it will be difficult for him to affect offensively while James and Davis is on the floor. The good news is that his defense has yet to fall back to earth, and if it is durable, his protocol should not be affected too much. Still, for his sake and the team's, let's hope he starts hitting shots.
The Lakers will try to tie their longest winning streak since the 2010-11 season on Sunday when the reigning champion Toronto Raptors visit them. The Raptors are 6-2 on the season – good enough for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. They will be a good test for the Lakers, who have so far shown that they are ready to take on almost anyone.
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