LeBron James and Austin Reaves give Lakers offense a boost in win over Nets

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, drives between Brooklyn Nets guards Dennis Smith Jr. (4) and Lonnie Walker IV, right, during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Sam Morris)

It wasn’t surprising to see the Lakers look disjointed in their preseason opener Saturday in San Francisco, too many possessions defined by too many dribbles and not enough movement or passing.

Debuts can look like that — especially when LeBron James and Austin Reaves are on the bench.

But in preseason game No. 2, with two of their best passers back in action, the Lakers offense hummed, giving a glimpse of how things could look this upcoming season.

All five starters scored at least 10 points as the Lakers beat Brooklyn 129-126 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Lakers scored 75 points in the first half before James and Davis went to the bench. Reaves, who finished with 18 points, played into the third quarter.

James had 10 points and five assists and Davis had his second consecutive strong game to open the preseason, scoring 13 to go with seven rebounds and three blocks in just 14 minutes.

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The Lakers led for most of the game before the two benches were emptied, with former Laker Lonnie Walker IV helping the Nets quickly take the lead in the final minutes. The Lakers, though, forced a turnover and created a dunk for rookie Maxwell Lewis to push back ahead.

Rui Hachimura led the Lakers with 19 points, while D’Angelo Russell had 14 and six assists and Taurean Prince scored 13.

Prince started for the first time with Jarred Vanderbilt out, hitting making five of seven shots from the field, including three three-point shots.

The Lakers continue their preseason play against Sacramento on Wednesday in Anaheim.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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