January 15, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Road rage: Five takeaways from the Lakers’ rout of Thunder

Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ easy 128-99 win in Oklahoma City:

1) The Lakers kept their road record perfect without much of a sweat. LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 54 points with neither playing more than 28 minutes.

It’s the third consecutive blowout win for the team and the seventhroad win in a row to start the season — a Lakers record.

“I believe we got better on this road trip, our camaraderie and our togetherness continue to grow, both on and off the floor. And you know, we want to continue to build off of that,” James said. “There’s not much practice time, but we use the plane, the bus rides and the meetings that we have on the road and things of that nature and we just continue to build. We continue to hold each other accountable. And it’s fun when you play for one another. And we have a selfless team.

“I think all of us are having a good time right now, but you have a good time when you’re winning. And that’s what’s most important. When you win and you also learn from your wins, that’s fun.”

2) James won $100 on Tuesday from an in-game bet with Dennis Schroder. One night later, he was looking for someone else to challenge him.

After one of his five three-pointers, James looked around the empty building, wishing it was filled.

“I’m just visualizing us having fans back in the building again at some point. It was great to see some fans in Houston,” James said. “Me playing the game that I love to play then along with the fans, it’s something I dream about all the time. Even when I’m on the floor, just try to let them know that we miss them. And that was one of those moments.”

3) The Lakers canned 17 threes Wednesday night made by nine players.

“The way LeBron is shooting the ball from the perimeter. That gives us a burst in that statistical category. But we have a team of proficient three-point shooters,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “And we’re continuing to grow our shot identification, what are good shots, what are bad shots. Our team is trying to work for shot quality, not forcing and trying to be efficient in everything we do. If we’re focused on high-quality threes we’re going to shoot a high percentage.”

4) Montrezl Harrell continues to look comfortable off the bench, scoring 21 points on just 12 shots.

“I’ve been on the floor during my career with great players, man,” Harrell said. “And I just do the best I can to make their games, make their lives as easy as I can. Nine times out of 10, I just reap the reward.

“And I just try to keep upping up my game and bettering my game so guys can have confidence throwing it to me when guys are in a situation where they need help.”

5) Everything that happened on the court Wednesday was a little anticlimactic compared with the off-court news — the Brooklyn Nets’ deal for James Harden.

“He got to one of his destinations. He wanted to play there. We’ll see how it goes,” Davis said. “[Kevin Durant] and James played together in OKC, then you add another guy, Kyrie [Irving]. Lost some key players, Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert. But they look good on paper. And we’ll see how it goes when those guys get in between the lines and get a chance to play alongside each other.”