After three straight losses to start the season, many questions surrounded LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. For one night at least, they were able to quiet some of the doubters with their best performance thus far.
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Both James and Lance Stephenson came close to notching triple-doubles and seven Lakers scored in double-figures as they defeated the Phoenix Suns, 131-113, to notch their first win of the season.
After a relatively even first quarter, the Lakers turned up the intensity in the second, outscoring the Suns 44-24 and never really being challenged in the second half. One major reason was their ability to take care of the ball.
Through three quarters the Lakers had just two turnovers, ultimately ending the game with eight while forcing 19 from the Suns.
Stephenson led the Lakers with 23 points on the night to go along with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. James finished with 19 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals in just 28 minutes. He nearly brought the roof down to end the first half.
James made an outstanding behind the back dribble to get to the basket but would get caught in the air. That was no problem, however, as James passed the ball off the backboard to himself and finish the layup. J
The game also saw the first start of the season for Josh Hart who replaced Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Hart had another strong outing with 15 points while knocking down 4-of-6 from three-point range. Caldwell-Pope also had his best outing with 14 points.
Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma both continued to shine as starters as Kuzma finished with 17 points and four rebounds while Ball notched 12 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. He scored two on a lob pass from Stephenson that went off the backboard.
The Lakers have no time to celebrate as the 4-0 Denver Nuggets come to Staples Center for a Thursday night primetime showdown.