Staples Center

Lakers Get First Win of the Season, Defeat Jazz 95-86 in Home Opener

LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 53 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers earned their first win of the season, 95-86, over the Utah Jazz in their home opener at Staples Center on Friday night.

The Utah Jazz have the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gorbert.

The Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Unfortunately for Utah, Gobert can't clone himself and guard both players.

James and Davis combined for 53 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers earned their first win of the season, 95-86, over the Utah Jazz in their home opener at Staples Center on Friday night.

"We call them the Monstars because they're really good," said Lakers' guard Troy Daniels of James and Davis. 

The dynamic duo of LeBron and The Brow is exactly what the Lakers were hoping they'd get when they paired the two superstars in a blockbuster trade over the summer. 

The Lakers first basket of the game came on an alley-oop pass from James to Davis that set the tone early. Needless to say, fans can expect to see a lot of alley-oops from James and his new running mate throughout the season.

"We got the win. You can't ask for nothing better," said Davis after the victory. "First home game. Great crowd. Great atmosphere. I'm glad we were able to get a win in front of our fans."

Davis set the tone early for the Lakers as the team made a concerted effort to feed the big man in the first quarter. Davis finished the frame with 12 points, and the Lakers had a seven-point lead. 

The game stayed close in the second quarter, and was tied 43-43 midway through the third quarter. That's when Lakers' head coach Frank Vogel decided to change up his lineup, adding another ball handler in Alex Caruso, and moving Davis to center.

"We were shooting 34 percent offensively, and Rudy [Gobert] is a problem for any offense going aginast their defense," said Vogel of the move. "Anthony and I talked about it and he was all for it. Putting another small in there in Alex Caruso...both shifts in the lineup gave us a burst offensively."

The moves worked as the Lakers went on a 9-0 run and pulled away in the third and fourth quarters, leading by as many as 22 points.

Donovan Mitchell scored a team-high 24 points in the defeat for the Jazz. Utah's new point guard, Mike Conley, finished with 13 points, and Gobert was held to just eight points and nine rebounds.

"We just have to figure it out," said Mitchell of the offense. "It's nothing to overreact to, it's only the second game of the season."

James and Davis provided most of the scoring in an Opening Day loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, and did it again on Friday. The only other Laker to score in double figures was Daniels, who hit four three-pointers and scored 15 points off the bench.

Davis had 21 points, seven rebounds, and five block shots in first home game with the Lakers. James finished with 32 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds in the victory.

"We are the real deal defensively," Davis said. "We try to lay our hats on defense. We want to be a defensive-oriented team, and guys came in and were pesky today."

The new-look Lakers gave their home crowd their first victory of the season despite shooting less than 40 percent from the field and just 79 percent from the free-throw line. The biggest difference in the game was Utah's 22 turnovers compared to just 14 for Los Angeles.

The Lakers will host the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday at Staples Center.

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