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With LeBron James’ abrupt absence due to COVID, the Lakers had to figure out a way to avenge last Friday’s triple overtime loss to the Kings.

In typical Laker fashion this season, the team fell behind by double digits quickly in the first half. Lately, the Lakers have been winning third quarters, and the Purple and Gold flipped the switch and turned a 14-point deficit early in the third quarter, into an 18-point lead towards the beginning of the fourth—a mind-blowing 40-8 run.

Lakers star Anthony Davis addressed the media after the game, and talked about what changed coming out of halftime.

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“Getting back on transition. Building a defensive presence. We know it was tough for them to score in the half court. A lot of their stuff came in transition, cross match, leaving guys open, fouling, things like that. Halftime, we had a conversation on the team we wanted to be. [We] gotta buckle down on the defensive end. We were able to do that, hold them to 15 or 18 [points], great defensive quarters. That’s how we gotta start the game though, if we start the games with that defensive presence, we could be a very good team.”

During the first half, the Kings were getting to the rim at will, without much resistance from the Lakers. Whatever was said at halftime seemed to finally light a fire with this squad, as they completely changed the trajectory of the game.

The Brow was his usually dominant self, as he scored 25 points, grabbed seven rebounds, ripped two steals, and blocked two shots. Along with Dwight Howard, both were instrumental in controlling the glass this game, which was their undoing in their loss to the Kings' back home.

As Davis says, the team needs to figure out how to do this consistently now, especially starting off games well. The team has constantly dug themselves into double digit deficits the past couple games, especially in New York, Indiana, and in Sacramento. This is only the teams’ second double digit win of the season, so hopefully there will be more of these as the season progresses.