The Los Angeles Lakers staged their most comprehensive game since LeBron James and Anthony Davis were forced out of the lineup, crushing the Brooklyn Nets, 126-101, on the road Saturday night.
Eight different Lakers scored in double figures, with Andre Drummond leading with 20 points. Dennis Schroder scored 19 points before being sent off after going back and forth with Kyrie Irving, but Los Angeles rallied to turn the game into a second-half rout.
One of the most surprising performances came from Ben McLemore, who caught fire on the court and scored 17 points in 23 minutes off the bench. McLemore had a rough start against the Miami Heat, but was a key part of their win over the Nets.
The rest of the Lakers were thrilled to see their new teammate’s scoring barrage, and McLemore noted how close the team was as something he’s taken note of since joining the team. “Together,” McLemore said. “Everyone is there for each other, as they should be.
“Communication is good and we like to play with each other. That’s the most important thing, the chemistry, obviously it’s my second game here but I’m already feeling the chemistry with the guys, I’m getting to know the guys. It is a blessing. Obviously it was just a great win tonight, that’s the biggest part, that we all just came out and played together for each other and got this big win for us tonight.
Head coach Frank Vogel praised LA for their all-around team effort, and McLemore was a big part of that as his hot shot kept Brooklyn out of the game. The guard was confident stepping into his jumper, knocking down an impressive 5-for-10 shots from beyond the arc.
The Lakers pride themselves on their unity and overall chemistry, which has kept them competitive every night despite declining talent and depth. McLemore’s exit was encouraging and that may be what earns him a bigger role in the future.
Ben McLeMore on Frank Vogel’s communication style
Vogel was praised for his ability to build relationships with his players and it earned him the trust and respect of the dressing room. Although McLemore has only been with the Lakers for less than a week, he praised his new coach for his good communication.
“Just big,” McLemore said. “A great communicator is the key to winning in basketball and great teams, it’s just communication, and he does a great job with that and I’m tuned in, coachable and I want to learn and I want to improve myself.”
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