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Five things we learned from the Lakers’ 104-98 victory over Brooklyn

The Lakers finally won a game!

Here are five takeaways from their 104-98 victory Friday against the Brooklyn Nets.

1. It could be worse. The Lakers could be the Nets, an even more confounding jumble of bloated contracts (Joe Johnson) and less-promising young players.

2. D’Angelo Russell can hit some shots. After struggling mightily in his first four games (34.1% shooting), Russell looked at ease with his mid-range jumper, making six of nine shots overall, including two three-pointers, on the way to 16 points.

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3. Kobe Bryant still has plenty of followers. A large contingent of Lakers fans cheered in anticipation whenever he got the ball in the post and imploded with delight when he scored. His point total looked fine (18) but he made only five of 16 shots, his shooting percentage continuing to hover near 32% for the season.

4. The Lakers can play defense. They forced a critical turnover late in the game by denying an inbounds pass as the Nets committed a five-second violation. More surprising than anything: Nick Young was on the court.

5. The Lakers won’t go 0-82. OK, that’s an easy one. But their problems could have snowballed quickly with a loss to the Nets. The Lakers would have been 0-5 with road games against New York, Miami, Orlando and Dallas still ahead.

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