Newly acquired Lakers, Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, both played big roles in helping L.A. snap an eight-game home losing streak with a 101-92 win over Boston.
In particular, coach Mike D’Antoni was pleased with Bazemore’s play on the defensive side of the ball.
“Biggest thing was his energy on defense, his disruptability and all that, getting out on the break, running the wings like we told him,” D’Antoni said. “He did everything we talked about. Then he added his confidence and making big shots and making big plays.”
The Old Dominion product finished with a career-high 15 points, to go along with four assists, three rebounds and two steals. He also logged a career-high 33 minutes.
“I was able to get the mistakes out of the way, get in the game flow, knock the rust off a bit, get into a rhythm,” Bazemore said.
Brooks, meanwhile, scored a season-high 14 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter to spearhead L.A.’s comeback from an 11-point deficit.
“He got us back in the game,” D’Antoni said. “He came up with the big steals. He was very instrumental in winning the game.”
Known more for his scoring ability coming out of college, the former first-round pick of the Celtics was also a difference maker on defense (three steals).
“I like that he cracked back a couple times and showed some energy on defense,” D’Antoni said. “He showed some willingness to concentrate on defense.”
Pau Gasol echoed similar sentiments about his new teammates.
“They just brought energy,” he said. “They both were aggressive and played with confidence. I think they were excited about the opportunity, so I’m sure it felt good for them.”
Gasol also returned to the starting lineup after nursing a strained groin for three weeks. In his first game action since Jan. 31 vs. Charlotte, the Spaniard notched 16 points, seven boards, three assists and two blocks in 22 minutes.
“I feel good,” he said post practice. “Now the rest of the body has to wake up and get back to being on the floor. The groin is good and hopefully it stays that way.”
Along with Gasol feeling better by the day, the Lakers will also get Nick Young (knee) back on Sunday vs. Brooklyn. The USC product has been sidelined the last six games with a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise.
“I didn’t think it was going to be this long, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I’m just happy to be back. I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow.”
Xavier Henry, who was cleared to practice on Friday, went through team drills today. He’s been out of action since Dec. 31 with a bone bruise, but D’Antoni acknowledged he’s at least a week away from returning to game action.