D’Angelo Russell put his hands up to the side of his head as he jogged down the court, his eyes widening like a pair of deep-dish pies.
LeBron James had just jumped into the air, caught a rebound and gracefully tipped it back in — the Lakers sprinting toward their full potential with Russell in faux shock.
But as the plays mounted — the Anthony Davis rebounds, the Austin Reaves assists, the Jarred Vanderbilt defense, the James jumpers and the Russell drives — it all became less and less unbelievable.
With their roster as close to fully intact as it has been in more than a month, the Lakers dominated, beating the Chicago Bulls 121-110 to begin their final trip of the regular season.
It was as sure of sign of the postseason promise the Lakers have sworn they possess, a team set to peak right when everything starts mattering the most.
With Reaves in the starting lineup for the first time with Russell, Davis, James and Vanderbilt, the Lakers quickly built a 17-point first-quarter lead. And while the Lakers’ bench squandered it in the second, the starters reestablished control. The Lakers never let Chicago completely back into the game the rest of the way.
Davis led the Lakers with 38 points, James had 25 and Reaves scored 17. Underscoring the starting lineup’s total dominance? The Lakers outscored the Bulls by 35 points in Russell’s 36 minutes.
The Lakers play in Minnesota on Friday night in the second game of their five-game trip.
Source: LA Times