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Lakers: No LeBron James, No Anthony Davis, No Hope For LA In Brooklyn Blowout

A depleted Los Angeles falls to a Kevin Durant-less Nets club, 121-104.

Your depleted Los Angeles Lakers did what they could tonight, but ultimately they were felled by a healthier, deeper Brooklyn Nets team which absolutely punished them beyond the arc tonight at the Barclays Center. LA -- missing LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves -- was no match for a Nets team that, even without Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons and T.J. Warren, proved much better at getting buckets. Brooklyn won big late, 121-104.

The Nets got off to a great start over the Lakers, building out a 29-16 first quarter lead, thanks in large part to Kyrie Irving's nine points in the opening frame. 

In the absence of Davis and James, sixth man Russell Westbrook took on the playmaking burden for the Lake Show. Los Angeles had a much stronger showing that frame, scoring 30 points in the period, thanks in large part to better passing and more engaged big man play (note that Rui Hachimura had a hockey assist in this sequence):

Russell Westbrook carved his way into the history books with this dish to Thomas Bryant, reinvigorated with Anthony Davis sidelined:

He is now the 10th all-time assists leader in league history!

Though the Nets led by as many as 19 points in the game's first half, the Lakers were able to chip away a bit to shrink the margin to a dozen, 58-46, at the halftime break. The Lakers shot an abysmal 35.6% from the field overall for the first two quarters, while the Nets doubled LA's three-point shooting output, making eight to the Lakers' four.

Only one Laker, Russell Westbrook (11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, five assists, four rebounds and a block), and one Net, Kyrie Irving (12 points while shooting 2-of-7 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe, five rebounds, two dimes and a steal), scored in double digits.

Reserve LA big man Wenyen Gabriel scored nine consecutive Lakers points on his lonesome to help the Lakers put the finishing touches on a resurgent third quarter tear. 

Gabriel's run temporarily built a lead for the Lakers to as much as seven points, before the Nets went on a 7-0 run to close out the frame. Despite that, LA outscored Brooklyn 36-27 in the quarter overall, to narrow the gap to a possession, 85-82 Nets, heading into the fourth.

A three-point shooting barrage from Brooklyn's wings to start the fourth quarter quickly got the Nets back up to a double-digit lead early.

The Lakers just couldn't keep up. When you're counting on Russell Westbrook to bail you out from long range, that's when you know you're in trouble. LA cut Brooklyn's lead to within seven midway through the quarter, 106-99, but that was as close as the margin would get. The Nets would go on to outscore the Lakers 15-5 down the stretch of regulation.

Bryant paced the Lakers with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor, while Westbrook was just two rebounds away from another triple-double off the bench, finishing with 17 points, 10 assists and eight boards. Hachimura, drawing his first start with his new club, enjoyed his biggest scoring night thus far as a Laker, pouring in 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting (1-of-2 from deep).

Starting small forward Troy Brown Jr., meanwhile, notched an 11-point, 17-rebound double-double. That board tally represents a career best.

Invariably, Kyrie Irving led the way for Brooklyn, scoring 26 points while shooting 7-of-16 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe.

The Nets shot better and more often from deep, as has been one of the issues for LA all season. Brooklyn went 16-of-41 from long range (39%), while Los Angeles shot 11-of-29 (37.9%). Brooklyn also capitalized on the Lakers' 14 turnovers to the tune of 21 points, while LA scored just 11 points off turnovers.

LA has fallen to a 23-28 record on the season, but hopes to have Anthony Davis and LeBron James available tomorrow night against the New York Knicks.