Takeaways from Lakers Victory vs. Hornets
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The Los Angeles Lakers blew out the Charlotte Hornets Thursday night 133-112, advancing them to 17-15 and the eighth seed in the West.
This win allows the Lakers to go into their Saturday night matchup in Minnesota with added confidence.
Building off the momentum of Thursday’s performance, let’s take a look at our two takeaways moving forward.
Taking Care of Business
The Lakers came into this game as 7.5-point favorites, and the public was expecting them to win; however, LA still had to go out there and get the job done.
Taking care of business in “easy” games such as this will prove integral to the Lakers’ hopes of securing a top-six seed.
By dominating teams they know they can dominate, they add to their already high confidence and build momentum ahead of stronger matchups.
The LakeShow has been able to take care of business against softer opponents this season, as they post a 7-2 record against teams with losing records, their only losses coming against the Bulls and Spurs.
Wins like these will not make any statement but will give this Lakers team momentum and security in their position as contenders.
Expect this Lakers team to continue beating the teams they are expected to and take care of business by getting the job done.
Big Third Quarter
While the box score may indicate that the Lakers dominated this game, this domination was only truly evident starting in the third quarter. The Lakers were only up by one point, 58-57 at the half.
The purple and gold followed up their subpar first-half performance with an explosive third quarter, outscoring Charlotte 41-23, taking a 19-point lead going into the fourth.
The Lakers have been fine offensively in the third quarter all season, averaging 29.2 points; however, their performance in this quarter has proven vital in their ability to pull out games.
In wins, LA averages 32.0 points and an offensive rating of 124.5 in the third quarter compared to their 26.1 points and an offensive rating of 104.8 in losses.
Efficient shooting has been the catalyst for third-quarter offensive production as the Lakers shot 51.6% from the field and 45.7% from three in wins compared to a mere 44.3% and 34.5% in losses.
The Lakers’ big third quarter was facilitated primarily by the efficient offensive production of LeBron James, Rui Hachimura, and Anthony Davis, who combined for 32 of the 41 third-quarter points.
Final: Lakers 133, Hornets 112— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) December 29, 2023
LA improves to 17-15 and 3-6 since the IST. AD had 26 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. LeBron had 17 points and 11 assists. Rui Hachimura had 17 points. Max Christie and Christian Wood re-emerged in the rotation.
Up next: at MIN on Saturday.
Hachimura drew the start in the absence of Cam Reddish and accounted for 12 points this quarter alone.
If Hachimura can provide consistent and explosive offensive production alongside James and Davis, we can expect to have big quarters like this one in the future.
Coming off this decisive victory, the Lakes will prepare for their matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
Minnesota got the best of LA in the first matchup; however, with added rest and momentum, don’t count out the Lakers’ opportunity to steal this one on the road.