By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It’s a night all pro sports teams love to have- the night when the team receives a World Championship ring. That happened last week as the Los Angeles Lakers accepted their seventeenth in franchise history at a fan-less Staples Center.
After one of the shortest off seasons (71 days) in the history of any sport. They then took on the cross the hall rival Los Angeles Clippers. On this night after all the pregame accolades it was not a good start on the floor.
The new look Clippers came out with a new head coach Ty Lue and rolled the World Champs 116-109. It was a game that the victors lead wire to wire. They played after having a tough play-off loss losing in the Conference semi-finals after leading 3-1.
On this night Kawhi Lennard and Paul George combined for 59 points. Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for 41 points in just 31 minutes for “The Lake Show.” With the short off-season it puts the plan of fewer minutes per game for starters. The loss put the Lakers with a 11-6 on Ring night record.
They took on the Dallas in their annual Christmas Day game and ran away with it 138-115. Lebron flirted with a triple-double having 22 points,10 assist and 7 boards.
The chosen one tied Oscar Robertson with having the most games scoring 20 point and 10 assists on December 25th. They both have done the fete four times. How ever James did pass the Big-O (377) the second leading scorer on the day. James now has 380 and needs just 16 to pass the late Laker great Kobe Bryant who has 395.
Anthony Davis added 28 points and 8 rebounds in the holiday special as 12 Lakers scored at least a basket in the rout of the Mavs.
Team newcomers Montrezl Harrell added 22 and 7 boards and Dennis Schroder dropped in 18 to go with six assists. Kyle Kuzma had 13 to go with 6 rebounds.
It was an all-out rout in game three at Staples as The Lakers jumped on the T-Wolves. A red-hot Kyle Kuzma got things going by hitting his first four three-point attempts. Helping the Lakers runover the visitors by a 127-91 final. “It was a fun brand of basketball,” said Kuzma. “”For awile we all just pushed and my shots were falling”
The 25-year-old finished the night as leading scorer with 20 points. He was followed by James with 18 as six Lakers hit double figures. Harrell, Gasol, Schroder and Talen Horton -Tucker all had 12 each.
Kuzma stepped up with the absents of Anthony Davis who sat out due strained calf muscle that was first occurred in the opener against the Clippers. Then it was re- aggravated while playing the Mavs…
Portland followed the T-Wolves at Staples and got hot late. They outscored the Purple and Gold31-22 in the fourth as Damian Lillard knocked down 31 points and had five assists to lead the Blazers to a 115-107 win. Gary Trent had 28 off the bench.
The Lakers (2-2) after the first week were led by James 29 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Dennis Schroder who played in his 500th career game followed with 24 while going 7 for 7 from the stripe.
Anthony Davis return to the lineup scoring 13 and lead the team with 10 assist and the Lakers had 41 for the game it was his 300th double-double of his career. It also marks the third consecutive game the team had 30 or more assist.
LAKER NOTES: Guard Alex Caruso sat out the game due to COVID protocol he could miss three more games. ”All the things we do are to keep us safe,” said Laker coach Frank Vogel . “If any of us have a family member test positive or some thing like that we could all be close to that kind of close contact quarantine.” Caruso has been averaging 5.3 ppg and 1.7 rebound per game coming off the bench…James extended his double-digit scoring streak to 999 games landing him in 4th place all time (1,261) is first.