FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Pacers – 8/8/2020


Los Angeles Lakers (51-16)  |  Indiana Pacers (43-25)


The Lakers finished the first half of this game with a 59-54 lead.


The Lakers started the game off shooting poorly. After going down by 15 at one point, they trailed 34-24 after the first quarter. They rallied in the second quarter, finishing the half shooting 48 percent from the floor.


Lakers vs Pacers
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers’ stars of this half were LeBron James and surprisingly, Quinn Cook. James started to heat up in the second quarter, which started the comeback. He began to shoot and drive into the paint more, ending up with 80 percent from the floor for the half. He shot eight for ten and grabbed three rebounds as well.

Cook also started to catch heat in the second quarter. He had 13 points at the end of the first half. Anthony Davis was not involved much offensively, shooting two for seven. Regardless, he managed to get two steals, two blocks, and six rebounds. The Lakers finished the first half with 28 bench points.



The only player that severely struggled offensively besides Davis was Kyle Kuzma.


Despite having a great game against the Houston Rockets, he was 1 for seven from the floor at the half. Passing issues mostly caused the Lakers’ problems in the first quarter.

Team communication and chemistry seemed more off than usual. They finished the first quarter with seven turnovers; they only had eight at halftime. The turnovers were caused by a bevy of players as only two players had more than one turnover. The Lakers seemed to have improved their three-point shooting as they shot 7 for 18 from three this half.


 T.J. Warren gave the Lakers problems in the first half, continuing his Orlando bubble dominance.


Lakers vs Pacers
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

No matter who the Lakers chose to defend him, he could not be stopped up until the second quarter. He finished the half with 18 points, 7 for 11 from the floor, and 2 for three from three. Victor Oladipo had 10 points, and Malcolm Brogdon had 11, giving the Lakers problems as well. 

The Lakers failed to keep the lead, losing the game 116-111. Although the Lakers have already clinched, they are 2-4 in seeding games. They struggled on defense as they could not find an answer to Warren, Oladipo, or Brogdon. Warren ended up with 39 points, going 15 for 22 from the field. Oladipo finished with 22 points, and Brogdon finished with 24. The Pacers focused on passing, which paid off; they finished the game with 25 team assists. 


Davis continued his offensive drought and never found a rhythm, finishing the game with only 8 points.


Lakers vs Pacers
Photo Credit: IndyStar

He had one of the worst games he’s had as a Laker, not getting a single steal or block in the second half. He started to shoot more later, but that did not help. AD finished the game going 3 for 14 from the floor and 0 for four from three. Alex Caruso did not help either; he shot 2 for eight from the floor. Kuzma could not pick up his poor first-half performance; he was 3 for 14 from the floor just like Davis was. 

The only players on the Lakers to have good games were the stars of the first half, James and Cook, as well as Talen Horton-Tucker.

James continued charging the paint, finishing with 31 points. He only had two assists after the first half but ended up with 7 for the game. He could have had more, but Caruso and Kuzma missed more than a few open opportunities off his passes. Cook scored most of his points from beyond the arc, going 5 for nine from there. He totaled up 21 points, shooting 57.1 percent from the floor. Horton Tucker was 4 for 7, finishing the game with 10 points. 


Regardless of the Lakers already clinching, this game causes concern. They played James to either give the team more practice together or show off dominance. They showed no dominance.


Lakers vs Pacers
Photo Credit: NBA

Playing James is when the team should show off that they are playoff ready, which they did not do. The playoffs are coming soon, and the Orlando bubble has not been a great place for the Lakers. They rested James against the Rockets, so it is not time to enter panic mode, but the team’s chemistry and shooting needs to be fixed before the playoffs. These next couple of games are more significant for them than some might think. 


The Lakers will look to show the league they are ready for the playoffs when they face the Denver Nuggets on Monday. The game tips off at 6:00 Pacific on TNT.



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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

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