Lakers hold on against Wizards to end road trip at 5-1

Lakers have now won 8 of their last 9 games overall.

WASHINGTON, DC — Well, the Lakers continue to stay hot. L.A. finished off the Wizards to make it a 5-1 road trip. The final score was 125-120.

I talked about three-point shooting in the preview and our fears were realized very early. Washington made their first 5 threes from downtown. A Kyle Kuzma long two made it 19-8, Wiz, and L.A. called a timeout.

Out of that timeout, the Lakers upped their defensive intensity and they went on an 18-2 run. They left the first quarter with a 39-29 advantage as Anthony Davis just dominated inside.

In the second quarter, L.A. seemed careless at times. But every time the Wizards got close, they would do enough to not lose the lead. LeBron James would get away from the crowd and convert a lay-up to make it 67-60 at the half.

The Lakers seemed they have had it as D’Angelo Russell’s long three topped off a quick 9-2 run to make it a 14-point lead. The Wizards seemed content to trade buckets with the Lakers after that as L.A. entered the fourth with a 101-86 lead.

After a Taurean Prince bucket, the Wizards woke up and scored 15 in a row. But unfortunately for Washington, that run, in turn, got the Lakers out of a slumber. They scored 12 straight to make it 119-105. We thought it was all curtains but the Wiz didn’t want to end the play. Washington scored 8 straight to cut it to 125-120. They were even able to get L.A. to turn the ball over but Anthony Davis blocked Jared Butler’s three-point attempt. That was enough to make everyone exit stage left.

The Lakers were probably ready to go home. They seemed disinterested (and tired) at some points in the game but they felt like they knew they could win the game at any time. It’s probably a dangerous attitude but what mattered is that they got the job done. Wizards had no answer for Davis in the trenches and were trying to win the game by shooting from afar. It wasn’t a bad strategy as we’ve seen many a team win like that. But in the end, the Lakers just had too much size, talent, and firepower.

Just like their game from Leap Day, the Wizards outshot the Lakers from the arc. Washington had an 18-8 advantage in threes. But with the lack of size, Washington couldn’t keep L.A. off the boards. Lakers had 49 rebounds compared to the Wizards’ 39. Second chance points were huge for Los Angeles (and they normally kind of suck in that department): Lakers 18, Wizards 2.

The Laker starters each scored 16 or more; nobody could stop Davis, who had 35 points and 18 boards. LeBron flirted with yet another trip-dub at 25-7-9. It was Rui Hachimura’s first game back in D.C. since he got dealt; he ended with 19 points. As for the Wizards, Jordan Poole had 29 points (but weirdly, the former Bullets were a -32 when he was on the court). Kyle Kuzma and Corey Kispert each scored 17.

As of this writing, Phoenix has yet to play on Wednesday night. But the Lakers have pulled to within a game of the Kings and the Suns; L.A. is 44-33 while the two teams mentioned are 44-31. What a crazy Western Conference.

And with the Lakers going back home for the last Crypto stand of the season, it’s about to get even crazier.