LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers have won 10 straight games for the first time since December 2009, when Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol rode that fast start all the way to their most recent championship.
Nobody is ready to declare the current Lakers are headed for a similar summer after their streak hit double digits with an overwhelming effort against the Washington Wizards.
Still, it’s obvious something special is brewing again in LA.
“That’s the best team in basketball,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “Their record is 17-2 for a reason.”
Anthony Davis had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and LeBron James had 23 points and 11 assists before both superstars took the fourth quarter off in Los Angeles’ 17th win in 18 games, 125-103 over Washington on Friday night.
Quinn Cook scored 17 points and JaVale McGee had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the steamrolling Lakers, who went 14-1 in November to soar to the top of the overall NBA standings. Los Angeles hadn’t won this many games in a month since March 2000 — in another season that ended with a banner.
Los Angeles’ 17-2 start matches the best in franchise history, but the Lakers realize true history isn’t made in November or December, which looks much tougher on paper.
“We have championship aspirations, but that’s not what’s here right now,” James said. “What’s here is our next opponent. We want to continue to get better. We have guys who have been there and know what it takes.”
Los Angeles outscored Washington 84-36 during a 24-minute span extending from midway through the first quarter until midway through the third, when James’ jumper put the Lakers up by 37.
Bradley Beal had 18 points and nine assists and rookie Rui Hachimura had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Wizards.
Trail Blazers 107, Bulls 103
In Portland, Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 11 rebounds and the hosts downed Chicago for their second victory over the Bulls this week.
Damian Lillard added 28 points for the Trail Blazers, who have won three straight after four consecutive losses. Hassan Whiteside had eight points, 15 rebounds and a franchise-record 10 blocks for Portland.
Bucks 119, Cavaliers 110
In Cleveland, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee held off the hosts for its 10th straight victory.
The Bucks hadn’t won 10 in a row since the 1985-86 season.
In Other Games
Mavericks 120, Suns 113
Hornets 110, Pistons 107
Spurs 107, Clippers 97
Raptors 90, Magic 83
Nets 112, Celtics 107
Heat 122, Warriors 105
76ers 101, Knicks 95
Jazz 103, Grizzlies 94
Pacers 105, Hawks 104 (OT)
Thunder 109, Pelicans 104