National Basketball Association
L.A. Lakers 124, Brooklyn 112
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, November 3, 2017
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
#36 Brent Barnaky, #13 Monty McCutchen, #39 Tyler Ford
LOS ANGELES -- Brook Lopez was a cornerstone for the Nets' organization for almost a decade, but in a 124-112 Los Angeles Lakers win at Staples Center on Friday night, he was Brooklyn's biggest problem.
Lopez connected on 6-of-9 3-point attempts en route to a season-high 34 points, 23 of which came in the second half, for Los Angeles (4-5).
"Some of those (3-pointers), I was yelling at my (assistant) coaches, ‘Why is he shooting that?’” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "And he would make them, so we left him in."
Walton made the right decision. Lopez picked up in the second half where rookie forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Jordan Clarkson left off through the first half.
Kuzma scored 17 of his 21 points before intermission, and Clarkson notched 12 of his 19 in the first half. Kuzma also set a career best with 13 rebounds.
"He's so talented," Lopez said of Kuzma. "He's taking advantage of his opportunity."
One opportunity afforded Kuzma was insertion into the starting lineup, which the rookie forward said he learned of just before tipoff. He started, then proceeded to finish as one of three Lakers with a double-double. Brandon Ingram added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Lopez grabbed 10 rebounds.
Friday was Lopez's first game with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds since November 2016 -- when he did it against the Lakers.
A 15-3 Lakers run midway through the second quarter kept the Nets at arm's length for the remainder of the night.
Brooklyn (3-6) cut the deficit to six points just before halftime, but a Lopez basket and free throw pushed the Los Angeles lead to nine at the break.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said turnovers and wasted possessions on which players tried scoring one-on-one hindered Brooklyn's rhythm. The visitors also suffered from a few costly defensive breakdowns.
The Lakers led by double digits for much of the second half, but three-point plays by guard Allen Crabbe and forward DeMarre Carroll ignited a run capped when a Carroll lay-in cut the deficit to four.
Buckets from Lopez, Kuzma and Ingram stemmed the tide, pushing the lead back to 10 in the final minutes.
"We gave up (124 points) again tonight," Crabbe said.
The Nets are last in the NBA, allowing 119.3 points per game. Brooklyn allowed at least 120 points for the third straight game and seventh time overall.
"So that's just one of the things we have to do: get better on that side," Crabbe added.
Despite defensive breakdowns, the Nets remained competitive behind 25 points from the Los Angeles native Crabbe, 21 from guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and a well-rounded night out of Carroll. He finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
"He's finding his rhythm. ... He was struggling because he missed a fair amount of time at training camp," Atkinson said of Crabbe. "I think you'll see him get better as the season goes on."
Guard D'Angelo Russell, who was acquired for Lopez, had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in his return to Los Angeles but was just 1 of 8 from behind the 3-point line.
"We've got to get our confidence right going into the next game, and we'll be alright," Russell said, adding the Nets got quality looks. "Teams make runs. We've just got to realize we’ll make a run sooner or later, as soon as start making shots, staying positive and keeping our head up."
Russell spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers before an offseason trade that sent Lopez to Los Angeles.
Lopez played each of the first nine seasons of his career in the Nets' organization and survived numerous trade rumors before being moved to Los Angeles.
"You can anticipate a player of that level having a big game against his old team," Walton said. "It's just the way our league works."
NOTES: Los Angeles outscored Brooklyn 26-18 in points off turnovers. ... Los Angeles F Kyle Kuzma's 21 points came just one shy of tying the career high he set one night earlier at Portland. ... Brooklyn's 23.7 3-point percentage fell nearly 12 short of its season average coming into Friday's game. ... Lakers G Lonzo Ball, who attempted just two field goals Thursday at Portland, took the Lakers' first two shot attempts of the game against Brooklyn. Ball finished with six points and seven assists. ... Brooklyn G Allen Crabbe's 25 points led the Nets' 39 bench points. Three Lakers -- G Jordan Clarkson, F Julius Randle, and G Tyler Ennis -- scored double figures off the bench to pace Los Angeles' 51 bench points. ... Brooklyn F Trevor Booker missed the game with a sore back. ... Nets F Quincy Acy missed his third straight game with a strained left groin.
Top Game Performances
Allen Crabbe 25
Brook Lopez 34
D'Angelo Russell 7
Lonzo Ball 7
DeMarre Carroll 8
Kyle Kuzma 13
Allen Crabbe 9
||Free Throws Made
Jordan Clarkson 7
D'Angelo Russell 3
Lonzo Ball 2
Tyler Zeller 2
Brook Lopez 3
Team Stats Summary
L.A. Lakers will play their next game at home against Memphis. The Lakers have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .800 after a loss.
Brooklyn will play their next game on the road against Phoenix. The Nets have a W/L % of .333 after a win and .333 after a loss.