The Los Angeles Lakers appeared to fall victim to a ring-ceremony hangover on opening night in a listless loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
There was no letdown on Friday.
Sporting their throw-back baby blues, the defending champs took on the Western Conference hopeful Dallas Mavericks in a primetime Christmas matchup. They looked very much like a team intent in hanging another banner in a 138-115 win.
In a matchup featuring a bevy of MVP candidates, the Lakers flexed the edge they’ll have almost every night with big games from their pair of MVP contenders LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Luka Doncic kept pace. But the MVP favorite couldn’t muster enough to threaten the Lakers as his top running mate Kristaps Porzingis watched injured from the bench. Porzingis’ size was sorely missed as the Lakers dominated the boards with a 53-27 rebounding edge.
The Lakers held a double-digit edge for almost the entirety of the second half before blowing things open in the game’s final moments.
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