Lakers first team to start 2-10 and finish above .500 since Nets, Bulls in 2005

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Lakers first team to start 2-10 and finish above .500 since Nets, Bulls in 2005

The Los Angeles Lakers are the first NBA team to start a season 2-10 and finish it above .500 since the New Jersey Nets and Chicago Bulls in 2004-05. They’re the sixth team overall to accomplish this feat.

In league history, there were three other seasons a team started off with 10 losses and went on to finish with a winning record: Bulls in 1976-77, Nets in 1981-82, and Seattle SuperSonics in 1977-78.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Lakers possess seventh-shortest odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing greater odds for the Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Denver Nuggets.

Moreover, the Lakers improved to 42-39 and cannot end their season with a losing record. Los Angeles also has the Western Conference’s best record since the All-Star break, at 15-7.

In Friday night’s 121-107 win over the Phoenix Suns, D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers in scoring with 24 points on 9-of-14 (64.3%) shooting from the floor and 6-of-9 (66.7%) from beyond the arc. Although Phoenix played without Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton, L.A. trailed 62-61 at halftime.

However, the Lakers went on to outscore Phoenix 60-45 in the second half. LeBron James ended his outing with 16 points and six rebounds and assists in 30 minutes of action. The 19-time All-Star shot 6-of-19 (31.6%) from the field and drained three 3-pointers.

Lakers are the first NBA team to start 2-10 and finish with a winning record since the Nets and Bulls in 2004-05, still aim to avoid Play-In Tournament

Meanwhile, Anthony Davis closed out his performance with 14 points, 21 boards, four dimes, and three blocks in 34 minutes played. The four-time All-NBA member shot 4-of-12 (33.3%) from the floor and missed a shot from downtown. Davis grabbed eight rebound in the third quarter.

“I was just telling AD, I was like, ‘Man, can you believe that we going to finish this season above .500 after everything that’s gone on this season?’ We’ve turned this thing around,” said James.

“And it’s the regular season, obviously, there’s a lot more basketball to be played. But to know that we’re going to finish a few games above .500? It’s pretty cool.”

Furthermore, the Lakers are aiming to avoid the Play-In Tournament. At the moment, they hold the No. 7 spot. For Los Angeles to secure the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference standings, it must win against the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Plus, the Los Angeles Clippers have to suffer at least one more loss to either the Portland Trail Blazers tonight or versus Phoenix on Sunday. If both teams win out, the Lakers will have to participate in the Play-In.

“I’m definitely happy that we were able to fight through that adversity and try to find the right pieces that fit, and we were able to march on through,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said.

“Our work is not done by a longshot, so it’ll be great at some point to think back, but hopefully I’ll be thinking about this the first year after we’re holding the trophy or something.”

Now, the Lakers are working towards becoming the first NBA team to start a season 2-10, advance to the NBA Finals, and win the championship. Can they do it with James and Davis healthy? Stay tuned. The first round of the NBA Playoffs begin Saturday, April 15.

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