Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Nets – Game 51

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (23-28) | Brooklyn Nets (31-19)


The Lake Show was short-handed and was left helpless against the Brooklyn Nets as they fell 121-104


Lakers vs Nets
Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin/AP

LeBron James and Anthony Davis were both inactive against Brooklyn. Darvin Ham told reporters that the plan for Davis was always to rest this game given it was a back-to-back. He added that James had more soreness than usual in his left foot. 

Injuries and load management aside, it sends a message to the NBA and the referee association after the blatant missed call against Boston. All the while, Austin Reaves’ hamstring injury is expected to keep him out at least three more games.

For the Nets, Ben Simmons, TJ Warren, and Kevin Durant were all inactive vs. the Lakers.

The Lake Show’s starters at Brooklyn were Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverley, Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, and Thomas Bryant.

To begin the game, Hachimura cleaned up a miss, and the Lakers were on the board. That was a good sight to see, as without their top two, it gave us a chance to see what Hachi looked like without them. However, Brooklyn got off to a good start from the field, as they quickly took the lead at 13-6.

From there, the Lake Show stumbled and couldn’t recover for a while, as they hadn’t scored in almost four minutes. Emotions started to run high as Beverley got very upset about a foul call that sent Kyrie Irving to the line for three free throws. To make matters worse, he picked up a technical foul for complaining, though the Lakers aren’t going to take much from these officials with what’s gone on recently.

With all the inactives, Ham reverted to the dark days of the four-guard lineup. Luckily, it seemed to pay off initially as Russell Westbrook banked in a three-pointer. Russ then knocked down his second triple, while Wenyen Gabriel picked up a charge on the next play. After a couple of offensive boards, Westbrook earned himself a three-point play.

Despite that, the score read Nets 29, Lakers 16 at the end of the first quarter. The Lake Show struggled offensively without James and Davis, making just 6-22 shots (27.3%). Westbrook led LA with nine points, including two threes.

The second quarter didn’t change much, as after Yuta Watanabe buried another three, the Nets had outscored the Lake Show 12-6. Russ made a big-time play with a block, but then he threw a lob that resulted in a turnover. The duality of Westbrook. However, a block party had started for LA, as Bryant got in on the action, which led to free throws for Hachi.

Irving couldn’t help but smile after he drew another foul on Pat Bev. Beverley got Irving back by drawing a charge on him after a timeout. A section of the Barclays Center chanted, “Where’s your camera?” when Beverley was at the free throw line.

With James and AD both out, they couldn’t buy a bucket inside, as they went just 7-22 in Brooklyn’s paint. They were also cold from three, at 3-11, and were lgooshooting 13-40 overall (32.5%), and trailed by 17.

In some good news, Russ tied Gary Payton for 10th all-time on the NBA’s assist leaderboard but immediately passed him with a dish to Bryant. With his fifth assist of the night, Westbrook passed Payton for 10th place on the NBA’s all-time assists list. Next up? 9. Isiah Thomas – 9,061, 10. Westbrook – 8,967, 11. Payton – 8,966.


At halftime, the score read Nets 58, Lakers 46. The Lake Show shot 35.6% overall and 30.8% on threes. Westbrook had 11 points, four rebounds, and five assists. Bryant had eight points. Hachimura had seven points. LA’s starting backcourt (Beverley and Schroder) was a combined 1-11.


Lakers vs Nets
Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin/AP

Bryant cashed in on an and-1 opportunity to begin the third, which sparked a 14-0 run to push the Lakers to a 60-58 lead. They trailed by as many as 19 in the first half. Irving finally had enough, and he snapped the Lakers’ 14-0 run with a three.

However, the Russ-Wenyen combination turned out to be a huge success. Nine straight points from Gabriel had LA up 79-73 late in the third quarter. Westbrook was up to nine assists as he set the table for Gabriel. Despite the epic comeback, LA led 82-75 with 2:32 to play in the third quarter but couldn’t score down the stretch while allowing a 10-0 run from Brooklyn as they found themselves down 85-82. The Lakers outscored the Nets 36-27 in the third. LA still only shot 37.8%.

Brooklyn began the fourth quarter with consecutive threes, which sent LA back down 93-85. That was packaged with a lousy sequence from Bryant, as he missed two free throws and then fouled Cam Thomas, who got the and-one. This is where the Lake Show fell apart, as they were now down 104-90.

Coming out of a timeout, Beverley did his thing and drained a three, sending hope to the Lake Show. Russ continued to play hard to the end, but his late-game stretch was not great. After Irving hit a shot from the corner, that was the dagger. The final score read Nets 121, Lakers 104.


Key Takeaways


Lakers vs Nets
Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin/AP

The Lakers drop to 23-28 with no King James and AD. Westbrook had 17 points (5-15 FGs, 3-6 3FGs), eight rebounds, and ten assists. Bryant had 18 points (7-8 FGs) and nine rebounds. Brown Jr. had a career-high 17 rebounds, along with 11 points and four assists. Hachimura had a solid outing with 16 points and four rebounds. Beverley and Schroder were horrible, combining for 15 points on 3-23 FGs and 2-9 3FGs.

Irving was the engine for the Nets, totaling 26 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Patty Mills and Thomas poured in a combined 42 points (15-25 FGs, 8-13 3FGs) off the bench. Royce O’Neale chipped in 14 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Watanabe had 12 points and two blocks.

Without King James or AD, LA predictably struggled on both ends. The Lakers shot 39.3% overall and 11-29 from three and turned it over 14 times to Brooklyn’s 11.

King James is still 111 points from surpassing the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for No. 1 on the all-time scoring list.


The Lakers will now take on the New York Knicks. They’ll face off on Tuesday, January 31st, at 4:30 p.m. PT at the Madison Square Garden. The game will be available on Spectrum SportsNet, and TNT.

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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