Recap: Lakers pull away late after rough first half against the Hornets

Los Angeles Lakers - Anthony Davis
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 27: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a free throw against the Charlotte Hornets on October 27, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers notched their second win in a row on Sunday night, beating the Charlotte Hornets 120-101. It was an offensive onslaught by both teams early on, as the Lakers’ defense that was so good on Friday against the Utah Jazz was nowhere to be found in the first half, giving up 62 points. Still, the Lakers found a way to prevail big in the end, in a game where LeBron James wasn’t his best.

Anthony Davis with a monster game

The big man from Chicago was involved early and often in this one, ending the game with 29 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 assists. He scored in multiple ways, while also making some pretty impressive highlight plays on the defensive end.

As I said, he started early with 25 points on ten shots with six rebounds and two blocks in the first half alone. He finally got the three-point shot going for himself hitting three of his five three-point attempts. Going into this game, Davis was yet to make a three on four attempts through the first two games.

Davis has started this season hot, as he’s currently averaging 25 PPG, 10 RPG, and 3.3 BPG through the first three games.

Dwight Howard showing what the Lakers saw in him

As JaVale McGee struggles to even get minutes in these first three games, Dwight Howard is starting to show why Rob Pelinka went with him instead of Joakim Noah to replace DeMarcus Cousins’ absence.

Howard was hitting the boards and working it in pick-and-rolls all night, ending up with 16 points (8-for-8 shooting), 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, and a team-high +23.

I personally doubt that the Lakers would consider a change in the starting lineup, as Howard has had success on the season primarily working with the bench units. Switching out McGee for Howard in the starting lineup may mess up the flow of everything. But, you never know, as that +/- is very hard to ignore.

LeBron James struggles early, never finds rhythm until 4th quarter

I know it’s crazy to say that an NBA player who had 20 points and 10 assists struggled, but when it’s LeBron James you expect a little more here and there.

The King only had four points in the first half and was making some bone-headed passes early on, eventually ending with four turnovers (three in the first half). He came alive in the 4th quarter though, making highlights left-and-right and dropping 16 points in the second half.

The Lakers are 2-1 and will have their fourth game of the season at home against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. The Grizz’ are coming off an exciting home win against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, led by Ja Morant and Jae Crowder’s buzzer-beating three to win.

All stats from or Basketball-Reference

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