Lakers-Hornets recap: Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Davis won’t let LA lose OT Thriller – All Lakers
Chino Hills Pride and Long Beach Pride both recorded double triples, but in the end everyone’s favorite Laker avoided a third straight loss to Los Angeles.
First of all, we had Olympic Melo.
Then we were treated to Hoodie Melo.
Now … Staples Melo?
19-year-old NBA veteran Carmelo Anthony, 37, has experienced some sort of career rebirth as the Lakers’ scorer saver in the team’s home games.
He’s currently averaging 20.6 points per game over his eight games at Staples Center. He connects on 64.4% of his 7.4 home three-point attempts. In 11 NBA games (home and away), Anthony is averaging 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. Melo shoots 50% from the field (from 12.4 looks), 52% from long range (on a high volume of 6.8 attempts per game) and 82.6% from depth.
Tonight, in a 126-123 overtime thriller against star point guard LaMelo Ball and visiting Charlotte Hornets, Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points (his best sum ever as a Laker or bench player) of 9 13 shots from the ground (including 7 of 10 long-range shots), and also reduced three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. Anthony actually showed a solid defensive conscience to boot. It posted a +13 plus-minus rating overnight.
The great man of the stars Anthony Davis was truly the hero of the game, but Melo was more the champion of the people. Davis had a wonderful two-way contest aside from a few unfortunate jumpers over the post. He ultimately scored 32 points on 13 of 25 shots, had ten rebounds and had five blocks, four assists and three steals to start. He did all of this while still battling the stomach flu that limited his availability for the Lakers’ previous game, a 105-90 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. AD even fell ill between the third and fourth trimester, according to Mike Trudell of Spectrum:
The Lakers are therefore moving on, after raising their overall record to 6-5 during the young season. LA is 2-3 without team manager LeBron James so far this season. Last night, James was out for the third game in a row with abdominal strain.
Almost every game, won or lost, with this far too veteran club poses more problems than necessary, and this Lakers-Hornets fight was no exception.
In the first quarter, the Lakers mounted the warm hand of starting center DeAndre Jordan (seriously) in attack (he scored 10 points and took four rebounds), as well as Anthony’s precise shot (he had seven points) and some top tier dropping from Russell Westbrook (who had six assists in the frame) to a 29-26 advantage over the Hornets.
Yes, DeAndre Jordan actually led the Lakers in the first quarter with 10 points, including that great pass-and-go:
That said, his defense was still awful, and the Hornets made sure to capitalize:
Jordan never scored another point after the first quarter. He adapted for only 10:33. Substitute Dwight Howard, meanwhile, was a defensive freak as usual, and passed Jordan in his own minutes played, with 15:15.
Howard’s excellent rim protection, still powerful athleticism and defensive efforts continue to make him the best cross, despite being a much less beloved teammate than DJ.
The Lakers worked their way inside to get 18 free throws in the first two quarters of the game. Davis and Anthony both finished the first half of the game in regulation time with 12 points. LA led the Hornets into the halftime break with a 61-60 advantage. LA needed to log on 51.2% of their field goal attempts to reach that number.
It wasn’t a particularly big advantage. Soon, thanks in large part to goaltender Terry Rozier and LaMelo, the Hornets opened the second half on a 12-3 run.
Fortunately, behind the efforts of Westbrook, Davis, Anthony, and of course a very special Laker last night, Malik Monk, the Lakers closed the third quarter on a 23-9 streak. Davis scored 11 points in the third quarter alone.
To set course for the moxie and bustle of the Lakers, Malik Monk did a major triple heat check with the shot clock expiring for the period. He was a crazy Lakers logo buzzer beater!
Throughout the game, Staples Center favorite Laker Carmelo Anthony did not disappoint. His three-point shot was particularly clutch.
Carmelo’s sweater was silky smooth and he was always ready to start his long-range attempts.
Of all the Lakers’ minimum contract “hit” signings, the best was obviously this 37-year-old future Hall of Famer, who was almost out of the league four seasons ago after a tough 10-game spell with the Rockets. from Houston.
NBA Twitter was ruthlessly incisive on this point last night:
In other exciting news on an older Laker, national television Rajon Rondo appeared to wake up in style tonight. He ignited the Lakers’ offense to close the third quarter with Westbrook pine. After the Lakers lost 78-70 with five minutes left, Rondo returned to hardwood and got to work, handing out a slew of assists (six, to be precise). At the end of that period, the Lakers were leading 94-87.
Pieces like this were a Rondo-AD specialty all night long. Rondo knew how to convert defense into offense in a way this running Hornets team would be hard pressed to stop.
At the start of the fourth, however, Rondo’s luck ended. The veteran goaltender was ejected with 10:55 left in the quarter after being hit with a flagrant foul 2 for putting an arm over Terry Rozier. Westbrook came in and immediately started picking up the pace, but played surprisingly in control, feeding sniper Dwight Howard and Malik Monk to help the Lakers increase their lead to double digits.
Here is the fault. Judge for yourselves:
As you all did too, this reporter was watching Russell Westbrook with held breath, fully prepared for things to turn into ineffective hero ball efforts. Instead, with Westbrook leading the club, the Lakers took a 103-89 lead.
But THEN … things got scary.
Thanks to other shenanigans from the referees, the Lakers witnessed a five-point swing during a stoppage of the action. After Lakers rookie shooting guard Austin Reaves fouled Hornets star LaMelo Ball second-year point guard Anthony received a penalty shot to delay the game, entered it with a referee, and Westbrook was penalized for arguing with a referee.
Suddenly, the Lakers have increased by only four points. Westbrook spat six turnovers in the fourth quarter alone. The Hornets were supported by athletic play from Ball, “Scary” Terry Rozier, new Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward, currently uninjured, and Miles Plumlee.
Miles Bridges’ great defense over Anthony Davis forced a three air balloon with 1.3 seconds left. The game went into overtime after this terrible airball from Anthony Davis.
The Lakers may have botched the fourth quarter, but the war wasn’t over yet.
Fortunately for the Lakers, Mason Plumlee was ejected after some crucial fouls on AD with 49.4 remaining in overtime. Head coach James Borrego had to do it small, with training from LaMelo, Rozier, Bridges, Hayward and Cody Martin.
The Lakers closed the game with Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Reaves, Melo and Davis.
LaMelo Ball played with a lot of balance and speed, and an excellent knowledge of the pitch. He finished with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. Westbrook, again despite some crushing decisions late in the game, had a very Westbrookian night. He scored 17 points, distributed 14 assists and knocked down 12 boards (all defensive). Westbrook also recorded seven turnovers in the game and finished with an over-under line of -17.
During a thrilling overtime, the Lakers seemed in danger of letting the upstart Hornets force their return to the game.
The Hornets lost their fifth straight game and fell to 5-7 overall in the Eastern Conference, the ninth seed.