Summer League: LAL Beat LAC

blog_130715huddleHello and welcome to Summer League in Las Vegas, where the Lakers drew the Clippers in their third game after splitting their opening two contests.

We took some notes from a courtside perch at the Cox Pavilion for the edification of those interested in potential 2013-14 end-of-roster hopefuls*:
*Robert Sacre, a rookie last season, is the only member of the Summer League roster currently under contract.

- The early standout was Chris Douglas-Roberts, who scored seven points in the first three minutes, already surpassing his individual totals from the first two contests (In related news: CDR was plagued by an ankle injury he suffered in Game 1). After a nifty finish at the room and two free throws, Douglas-Roberts drained a triple to make it a 10-2 Lakers lead.
- After that hot start, the Lakers cooled considerably, and the Clips took advantage to take a 21-18 lead out of the first. Among those watching from the bench: second round pick Ryan Kelly, the No. 48 overall pick in June’s Draft, sitting as he recovers from foot surgery (the Duke product says he’s close to full health).

- Sacre was pretty quiet inside, missing his only shot attempt, but he did hit all four of his free throws. He’s moving his feet a bit better than last season, but still struggles to keep up at times. In fact, one reason he took those four free throws is he didn’t get the ball up quickly enough, instead loading up to brace for contact.
- Marcus Landry (five points, three boards) and Lester Hudson (eight points, four boards, two assist) were effectively active, while sub Michael Snaer used his nine minutes to notch seven points with five boards, including a hammer dunk early in the second, and two of three free throws to close the half when he drew a foul with 0.02 on the clock. As such, the Lakers took a 42-40 lead into the tunnel.

- With Dan D’Antoni implementing as much of his brother’s system as possible in the limited time frame with new players, one obvious focus is the 1-in, 4-out method that encourages ball movement and flow on offense. The key is having a mobile 4 man that can still guard power forwards on the other end, and Elias Harris was playing pretty well in that slot. His eight points and two assists helped L.A. build a 48-43 lead halfway through the third.
- CDR continued to show some nice skills on offense, reaching 11 points on a pair of free throws, the Lakers improving to 14 o 16 at the stripe compared to the modest 6 of 11 from the Clips, those eight points on the line the difference in the game with 2:47 left (52-44 LAL).
- Marcus Landry stepped up late in the quarter to score four straight points, and Lazar Hayward added two free throws in the final minute to cap a 6-0 run allowing the Lakers to match their biggest lead of the night at nine, 58-49, heading into the fourth period.

- L.A. was getting to the hoop with ease throughout the evening, a trend that continued in the fourth when two Douglas-Roberts assists got Landry (13 points) and Harris buckets at the rim, allowing a 65-53 lead halfway through the fourth.
- All but Sacre hit double figures among the starters, who pretty easily controlled things down the stretch as they had throughout, the lead swelling to as many as 21 points when Sacre scored off the fourth CDR assist. The drive-and-kick game was working all night, as either CDR, Landry or Hudson broke down the defense before scoring at the rim or finding a teammate, while consistently active D kept the Clippers at bay.

The final: 77-65, Purple and Gold. Landry had 16 points on 12 shots, Hudson 13 with nine boards and four dimes and CDR 12 with four assists of his own. Harris added 12 points and four boards.

Ultimately, the Lakers had little trouble aside from a slow close to the first quarter, allowing a 2-1 record that likely will secure a top 10 seed in the brand-new bracket style playoffs instituted by the NBA for this summer.