Lakers Win 95-86 in Home Opener Against Jazz

 The new dynamic duo of Anthony Davis (left) and LeBron James (right) warming up before the home opener against the Utah Jazz Friday night in Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: @clutchclipshoop)
The new dynamic duo of Anthony Davis (left) and LeBron James (right) warming up before the home opener against the Utah Jazz Friday night in Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: @clutchclipshoop)

By James Luckey Jr, Los Angeles News Observer

 “Focus” was the message on the free black t-shirts on every seat throughout Staples Center. That is exactly what the Lakers were in the first “official” home opener last Friday night against the Utah Jazz, winning 95-86. This win was coming off the eve of the season opening setback to their new look crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers. That game was definitely out in the rear view by both Laker players and fans as everyone was focused to get the first win of the season and protect home court. The Lakers got off to a fast start and never looked back starting the game off in a connection Laker faithful will get use to seeing with an alley oop pass from LeBron James to Anthony Davis. The Lakers lead 24-17 after the first quarter.

 Lakers LeBron James goes up for a shot Friday night against the Utah Jazz. (Photo Credit: @clutchclipshoop)
Lakers LeBron James goes up for a shot Friday night against the Utah Jazz. (Photo Credit: @clutchclipshoop)

The Lakers two superstars didn’t disappoint with LeBron putting up a near triple double with 32 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. Anthony Davis chipped in with 21 points and 7 rebounds to go along with 5 blocks. It was Davis’s 42nd career game with 20 points and 5 blocks, ranking him 9th all-time in that stat and 1st among active players. When asked if his home debut in Staples Center lived up to the hype Davis answered by saying, “Oh, for sure. We got the win. Couldn’t ask for anything better, especially in the first home game. Great  crowd, great atmosphere. We were able to get the win in front of our fans.”

 The Lakers has great contribution from their role players. Lakers big men JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard have great energy and defense controlling the paint. They also received 15 big points (4 made three pointers) from Troy Daniels aka “Layup”. When asked how he got his nickname Daniels replied by saying , “It started in Vegas when we were having summer workouts. I think we had a workout where I didn’t really miss so they started calling me ‘Layup’.”

 The Jazz didn’t bring enough on the offensive end to contend wit  huh the new look Lakers as they dropped to 1-1 after defeating Oklahoma City in their season opener. Utah’s young star Donavan Mitchell lead they Jazz with 24 points.

At press time the Lakers are 3-1 with 3 straight wins in it’s opening home stand. On Sunday night they defeated the Charlotte Hornets 120-101 and Tuesday night with a  win over the young Memphis Grizzles 120-91. Anthony Davis finished 40 points & 20 rebounds in just 31 minutes of action being showered “MVP” chants all night. The Lakers hit the road road to Dallas Friday and San Antonio Sunday to finish out the week.