Lakers winless no extra – ‘Needed to show one thing to ourselves’

LOS ANGELES — Coming into Sunday because the NBA’s final winless group at 0-5, the Los Angeles Lakers lastly broke by means of with a 121-110 choice over the Denver Nuggets, giving first-year coach Darvin Ham the primary victory on his résumé.

“Tonight, we needed to prove something to ourselves,” Ham stated afterward. “Not to the world. Not to the media. We had to prove it to ourselves, and I felt great about how we responded.”

Ham’s postgame information convention was delayed to accommodate a wardrobe change. His gamers baptized Ham’s first win by giving him a water bottle and ice bucket drenching.

“Very nice little bath,” stated Lakers massive man Anthony Davis, who returned from a one-game absence due to decrease again tightness to place up 23 factors and 15 rebounds. “There’s not more we can ask for from a coach. … We deserve it, he deserves it, and it was good to get him his first win as a head coach.

“He made a speech, and it was like, ‘All proper, Coach, we do not care what you are saying,’ after which we drowned him with water.”

While Ham got soaked, the Lakers looked like the Splash Brothers. L.A. connected on 8-of-16 from outside in the second half and was 13-for-30 for the game (43.3%), after having the worst 3-point shooting start to a season in league history through five games.

“I simply assume the ball had slightly pop to it. Guys had been penetrating, kicking, discovering open shooters, and guys did not hesitate,” Ham said. “I have been saying it since Day 1: Pictures are going to fall. Our offense goes to catch as much as our protection.”

LeBron James led L.A. with 26 points and eight assists, and Russell Westbrook had his second strong showing off the bench with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

“To be a participant of his caliber and requested to return off the bench, that is really a man doing regardless of the group asks to get a win,” Davis said of Westbrook. “Sacrifice his beginning place for the betterment of the group. He is flourished in that function. That is all we are able to ask for. I advised him, ‘Simply preserve what you are doing, man. The whole lot you are doing is unbelievable.’ Within the final two video games, he simply sort of been doing his factor. Pleased with him.”

Westbrook paid it forward, giving credit to guys like Lonnie Walker (18 points) and Austin Reaves (10 points) for helping to key the Lakers’ 17-0 run that spanned from late in the third quarter to early in the fourth and put them in the driver’s seat.

“I really like seeing my teammates flourish, actually,” Westbrook said. “I get a pleasure by seeing others do nice; my complete profession, what lifts me up is to see others do nicely. And tonight was that night time to see guys making photographs, competing, and that is all you’ll be able to ask for.”

At 1-5 and 14th in the Western Conference standings, there’s still plenty of work to do before L.A. can become remotely comfortable.

Davis, for instance, said his back is still bothering him even though he was able to play 37 minutes versus Denver.

“Sooner or later really feel nice, and the subsequent days I [only] really feel all proper,” said Davis who added he is experiencing a “good quantity” of pain. “So, simply attempt to see what occurs, attempt to handle it and preserve getting remedy.”

L.A. gets two days off before its next challenge: Zion Williamson and the visiting New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, the team that edged the Lakers out of the play-in tournament race last season.

The Lakers will try to bottle the same group energy they played with against Denver — and perhaps add to the collective camaraderie coming off of James’ annual Halloween costume party on Monday.

“We’re all right here for one cause, and that is to win,” James said. “When guys’ numbers are known as or not known as, we’ve got to know it is for the higher of the group, not people. And tonight was a kind of circumstances the place guys keep prepared, and guys who stayed prepared and whose quantity wasn’t known as as a lot because it was earlier than, however they had been nonetheless locked in and cheering on the group, the group that was in there.

“So that’s what the team is all about.”