Even with Anthony Davis seated on the bench, not in uniform, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers took care of business against the Golden State Warriors.
Defeating the Warriors 120-94, the Lakers won their first game in Staples Center against the Warriors since November 2016. The win also improves the Lakers' record to 9-2, their best 11-game start since the 2010-11 season (9-2).
Here are the biggest takeaways from the game:
LeBron dominates early, sits out 4th quarter
LeBron often uses the first quarter to get AD going, but tonight - with AD out - he's looking more for his own shot, and already has 9 points on 4 of 6 FG's at the 6 minnute mark.- Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 14, 2019
James finished with game-highs of 23 points and 12 assists, and then sat out all of the fourth quarter on the second night of a back-to-back. He also finished with six rebounds, a steal and a block on 11-of-21 shooting from the field in 26 minutes of action.
James had 11 points and four assists in the first quarter as the Lakers led 38-26 and made 16 of their 23 shots in the first quarter.
The supporting cast fills AD void
Coming off an impressive 23-point performance in Phoenix, Kyle Kuzma finished with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He was a +21 in his 30 minutes of play.
In Davis' absence, both bigs - JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard - delivered in their extended minutes.
McGee, who started, finished with an impressive double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds to go along with his three blocks and three steals. He was a team-high +30 in his 28 minutes. Meanwhile, Howard finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in his 20 minutes.
As a team, the Lakers assisted on 31 of their 48 field goals (53.9% shooting), the fifth time this season that the Lakers have dished out more than 30 assists.
Lakers' defence returns
After allowing a season-high 115 points to the Phoenix Suns in a win just 24 hours earlier, the Lakers defence was back against the Warriors.
They held the depleted Warriors to 36-of-89 (40.4%) shooting from the field and 9-of-35 from long distance (25.7%). After briefly dropping to second, this game helped the Lakers jump back to the top of the league in defensive rating.
"We played great defense today and it showed on offense."@LakersReporter speaks with @JaValeMcGee after finishing with a double-double in tonight's win. pic.twitter.com/eCwTFE2FHN- Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 14, 2019
The Lakers have now restricted their opponents to under 100 points in five of their nine wins so far.
On the other end of the floor, the hosts dominated the paint, making the most of the lack of a shot-blocker on the Warriors' roster. In the paint, the Lakers outscored the Warriors 64-36.
KCP's X-rays negative
Towards the end of the game in the fourth quarter, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was forced to head to the locker room with what appeared to be an ankle sprain.
KCP on his ankle (X-Rays were negative): "Everything is good."- Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 14, 2019
According to Mike Trudell, KCP will re-evaluated tomorrow.