Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers managed to overcome a poor offensive showing against the Atlanta Hawks to earn their 14th consecutive road win.
On most nights, a team going 5-for-31 from the three-point line and committing 22 turnovers is a recipe for a loss, but the Lakers managed to get enough stops in the second half to nab the win from a Hawks team that did a good job of preventing them from ever running away with the game.
LeBron James recorded a double-double (32 points and 13 rebounds) while Davis earned one of his own (27 points and 13 rebounds). The duo had to shoulder the offensive load more than usual as the Lakers role players could not seem to get in any groove offensively throughout the game.
After the game, Davis discussed what it has been like to play on a team that emphasizes and embraces the defensive end so much, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“We know that’s how you win championships. Any team that’s won a championship has always been at least top-five in defense and we want to make sure that we lay our hats on defense. We’re not gonna be able to shoot the ball well every night but we can defend every night. That’s nothing but energy and effort. That’s something that you want to do and everybody on this team wants to play defense and it’s contagious when you have a lot of guys who play defense and want to play defense. It’s real contagious and when we’re playing and clicking on all levels on the defensive end, our offense runs smoothly.”
Head coach Frank Vogel has done an excellent job of coordinating Los Angeles defense and it has paid off as the team has won nearly all their games on the back of their defensive effort and energy. Davis and James have enough star power to propel any roster offensively, but their commitment to getting stops has clearly permeated throughout the rest of the locker room.
Nearly everyone aside from the All-Star duo was cold from the field against the Hawks, but the collective focus and intensity defensively proved to be the difference in the game. After allowing 30 points in the third quarter, Los Angeles held Atlanta to only 18 points in the final period.
Now at 24-3, the purple and gold have put some distance between themselves and the rest of the Western Conference.
However, they close out their five-game road trip with a couple of difficult tests with the Indiana Pacers next on tap.