The Lakers came out firing in the first quarter putting up 41 points while getting out to a six point lead. Nick Young led the Lakers in scoring with 8 points and 2-3 from downtown. Even though the Lakers looked smooth offensively like they do most of the time, they let the Hornets shoot 62% from the field after 12 minutes. Like most nights on the defensive end the Lakers looked like they couldn’t stop a nose bleed. Regardless, the team came out firing and played inspired.
There wasn’t much of a change when the second quarter started as the Lakers were hotter than a BBQ pit in Texas in the middle of July. L.A. started the quarter on a 20-7 run as they pushed the lead out to 19. That changed rather quickly as the Hornets went on a nice run and brought it down to 12 in 2:30, momentum swung rather quickly forcing Coach Luke Walton to call a time out. The time out quickly cut the momentum and the Lakers finished out the half with a 73-59 lead while shooting 67% from three, 73 points marked the highest point out put by L.A. this season. The bench helped lead the way like usual and Jordan Clarkson had a half time game high with 17.
Within 4 minutes the Lakers lead had dissolved to two, the Lakers youth and inexperience comes out sometimes and the start of the 3rd was a great example of that. That trend continued until about 2:30 minutes to go in the quarter when the Lakers went on a 9-0 to take the momentum back. Larry Nance Jr. left the game with a left leg injury, after that though Julius Randle played like the true man-child he is as he sent back three shots in a two minute span, the game might have gotten out of hand for the Lakers if it wasn’t for him play. Randle’s energy and pure will power lead the Lakers to a two point lead as they headed to the 4th.
The 4th proved to be a good one as both teams stayed competitive to the final minutes. This game was full of emotions, from being up 19 in the second quarter to blowing that lead in a matter of game minutes. Kemba Walker went insane and took over the final quarter. He was amongst the big men grabbing boards, Walker grabbed one over Randle late in the game which lead to the eventual game winner. Jordan Clarkson led the way with 25 points while shooting 7-9 from three point land. Walker finished the game with 29 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, exposing the Lakers defense at will it seemed like.
Even though the Lakers head home with the L, they looked to mature a bit tonight. It didn’t look like the “young” Lakers anymore. It looks like they’re starting to put it together but they still have a long way to go. At least the journey is headed in the right direction.