2 takeaways from Lakers statement win over Knicks

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Lakers have strung together back-to-back wins over two elite teams, the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks.

LA got the 113-105 win over New York with an all-around team performance. LeBron James and Anthony Davis returned to the lineup and were pivotal in the win. James finished with 24 points, five rebounds, and five assists on 10-19 shooting. 

Davis struggled offensively with 12 points on 4-12 shooting but dominated on the glass with 18 rebounds and on the defensive end with four blocks and a steal. Davis’ elite defense in the paint allowed the team to double Jalen Brunson in the second half, disrupting the Knicks’ offense.

The stifling defense held New York to 19 points in the fourth quarter. With that said, let’s break down two takeaways from the Lakers win.

Darvin Ham is finally maximizing the rotation

It took 51 games, but head coach Darvin Ham is maximizing the rotation. Ham changed the starting lineup before the game, with Rui Hachimura replacing Taurean Prince.

Prince had started in 47 games this season when the original plan was for him to be a quality bench contributor. Coming off the bench against the Knicks, Prince had 16 points on 3-6 from three. The Lakers move to 3-1 this season when Prince doesn’t start.

The 29-year-old forward is a solid role player, and now that he isn’t thrust into the starting lineup, he can play more freely.

Ham is also getting high-quality minutes from Max Christie and Jaxson Hayes. Christie finished the game with six points on 2-2 from three to go along with two blocks. He finished a team-high +12.

Hayes had a second-straight good game, with ten points, three assists, and a steal on 3-3 shooting.

With Ham finally defining roles for his players, the Lakers can find a rhythm and go on an extended win streak.

Austin Reaves is on fire

Austin Reaves has settled into a rhythm of late, with three straight games with 20 or more points. Against the Knicks, Reaves had 22 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks. 12 of Reaves’ points came in the fourth quarter, helping the Purple and Gold get the victory.

With Reaves in rhythm and the rest of the team flourishing in their roles, the Lakers have a chance to move up the standings.

The LakeShow will look to continue their win streak on Monday on the road against the Charlotte Hornets.

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