Lakers escape with win over Wizards in overtime

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Lakers went 9-3 in the month of February.

LOS ANGELES — Well, we knew this was going to happen, right? I said it was going to be a huge trap game.

The Wizards were very game against the Lakers. They had them on the ropes. But in the end, the Lakers outlasted them as they went overtime and defeated the Wiz, 134-131.

Mentioned the energy as always and it was pretty evident in the first quarter. The Lakers were down, 29-21, before Anthony Davis scored five in a row to get themselves back into it. Washington led, 34-31, after 12 minutes.

Wizards had a 58-50 lead before Davis got hot again and led a 10-2 boost to tie the game at 60. Spencer Dinwiddie hit a huge three near the end of the half and it helped the Lakers to a 70-69 lead by the break.

The Lakers and Wizards were exchanging punches all round in the third period. L.A. did get up by 7 at one point but the Wiz refused to go away. The Lakers still led, 99-95, entering the fourth.

L.A. was up, 116-108, before Washington caught fire. Every Laker miss led to a Wizards lay-up/dunk for the next few possessions. A Darvin Ham tech didn’t help and, suddenly, the game was tied at 118.

Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole hit huge threes. The Wizards led, 126-124, and the Lakers were perilously close to a bad loss. Then Austin Reaves was able to do this:

That Reaves bucket tied the game. Jordan Poole tried to win it with a long three but it wasn’t even close. The teams went the extra five.

The Wizards led, 131-128. They had a chance to extend the lead with a Jordan Poole breakaway but…

How is he still doing this? LeBron would follow that up with a game-tying three.

The Lakers led by three, 134-131, when Davis bounced the ball off his leg for a turnover. The Wizards had a chance to send this to a second overtime but Kuzma missed the three. Marvin Bagley III tapped the ball out but it went to Rui Hachimura. The Lakers were able to run down the clock and barely get by the Wizards with the W.

Like I said, we expected this kind of performance. First off, that game against the Clippers on Wednesday night definitely took a lot out of them. Also, the Wizards were 9-49 coming into this game. It is easy to dismiss them as an easy win. But the Wizards reminded the Lakers that they are also a professional basketball team that shouldn’t be taken lightly. They’re seen as unserious due to so many lowlights on social media but these guys are still talented no matter what people say. That’s why they’re in the NBA.

The Lakers never seemed to break away from them (neither did the Wizards, really). But at least, they were able to outlast them. In the end, the Lakers have LeBron and Davis and the Washington Wizards… do not.

The three-pointers came into play once again. Lakers only went 8 for 23 (.348) while the Wizards (as we expected) were fantastic behind the arc (17/41, .415). I don’t want to sound like a broken record but… it’s probably not a great idea to leave them open for three.

The Lakers were led by Anthony Davis, who had a monster game with 40 points and 15 boards (and, of course, his usual wonderful defense). LeBron James scored 31 and is now 9 points away from another milestone: 40,000 points for his NBA career. D’Angelo Russell was a very good tertiary option at 22 points. On the other side, Jordan Poole came off the bench to score a season-best 34 points. Three other players scored 20 or more; Marvin Bagley III went for 23 while Corey Kispert and Kyle Kuzma each had 20.

Lakers went through some battles in this back-to-back. Now they’ll be in an even bigger clash when they go against the champion Nuggets on Saturday in prime time.

But for now, rest. And that probably goes for the Laker fan base, too.