Onward the Lakers marched Friday night, rolling to their 10th consecutive victory by stomping the Washington Wizards 125-103 at Staples Center.
Other than Kyle Kuzma slipping on the court toward the end of the third quarter and limping around before coming back to play some in the fourth, the Lakers had no scares in improving to an NBA-best 17-2.
Their best start in franchise history was 19-2 during the 1985-86 season, and the 2008-09 Lakers team started 17-2.
The Lakers pushed their record to 14-1 in November, their highest single-month win total since March 2000 (15-1).
“We made sure our guys respected this opponent,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “They did respect this opponent. They played them with great intensity and focus and we were able to get a W.”
The Lakers got to rest Anthony Davis and LeBron James a lot after both had played heavy minutes during the just-completed four-game trip.
Davis played only 27 minutes, none in the fourth quarter, and still had 26 points and 13 rebounds.
He had just played an emotional game Wednesday night in New Orleans in his first game back there since being traded to the Lakers. Davis had played 37 minutes against the Pelicans and scored 41 points.
“I think we were tested every night,” Davis said. “We’re going to get every team’s best shot, no matter what because of who we are. But we find ways to match that.”
James played just 24 minutes against the Wizards, none in the fourth, and also had a double-double with 23 points and 11 assists. He had played 37 minutes against the Pelicans and had 29 points and 11 assists.
Davis and James were the key reasons why the Lakers took a 39-point lead in the third quarter, their largest of the season.
“Tonight was one of those instances where we played great in the third quarter, which allowed me and AD to get some rest, especially coming off that road trip,” James said. “So it was beneficial to us and for the team and for other guys to get some minutes.”
The Wizards entered the game tied with the Milwaukee Bucks as the top-scoring team in the NBA, averaging 119.4 points a game.
It was easy to see why when the Wizards jumped on the Lakers for a 15-4 lead early in the first quarter.
On the flip side, the Wizards entered the game giving up the most points in the league, 120.8 per outing.
That was easy to see too, after the Lakers went on a 33-8 blitz to open a 14-point lead in the first quarter.
From that point on, the game became a showcase in how James passed the basketball.
He threw a behind-the-back pass to Danny Green in the corner for a three-pointer, a lob to Dwight Howard for dunk and a long pass to Green for a layup.
Just like that, the Lakers had opened a 23-point lead in the second quarter, the outcome never in doubt after that.
Vogel said Kuzma suffered a mild left ankle sprain and will be listed as day-to-day after getting X-rays that were negative for anything more serious. … Lakers guard Avery Bradley, who has missed the last eight games with a hairline fracture in his right leg, will be re-evaluated Saturday to determine his status. Vogel said Bradley, who has been out just over two weeks now, is one of the Lakers’ “better two-way players” and “really sets the tone for us on the defensive end.”