After all of their highly-touted offseason acquisitions this summer, the Lakers and their new lineup finally took the floor for the first time in a NBA game last night. Dwight Howard sat out, still recovering from back surgery, but Steve Nash made his Lakers debut, albeit in a losing effort in Fresno.
The Golden State Warriors spoiled Nash’s debut, beating LA in both teams’ preseason opener, 110-83. David Lee and Klay Thompson led the way for Golden State, scoring 19 and 18 points respectively. The Lakers took a nine point lead into the locker room at halftime, but the Warriors quickly turned the contest into a rout, outscoring LA in the third quarter 37-10.
Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and Jordan Hill contributed 10 points each for the Lakers while Steve Nash added five points and three assists in his first game as a Laker. None of the projected regular season starters played in the second half, which was when Golden State took the lead.
One of the major concerns with this new Laker team was the chemistry and how and if the team would be able to play together. Bryant recently said that the Lakers are his team, and Nash seems to accept that and has established a mutual respect with Bryant.
“He is always going to be Kobe,” Nash told Yahoo! Sports. “That’s just his DNA. But at the same time he’s willing to relinquish a little bit for the betterment of the group.”
The Los Angeles Lakers may be Kobe’s team, but going forward, even he knows how important his new teammates are to LA’s future success.
“Dwight is going to be eating all day,” Bryant said. [Nash] is going to put defenses in a really tough position.”
The Lakers’ next game is against Portland in Ontario, CA.