The Lakers are perhaps the deepest team in the NBA.
They put that depth on display Christmas night in overwhelming the Dallas Mavericks 138-115 at Staples Center.
One approach by the reserves was the menacing attitude of Montrezl Harrell.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel, on a postgame videoconference, said Harrell “just had a terrific night” and thinks Kuzma is “playing at a high level.”
Harrell, the NBA’s sixth man of the year last season while playing for the Clippers, played the only way he seemingly knows how — aggressively and with swagger.
He had 22 points and missed just three of his 13 shots. He had seven rebounds, two assists and one steal.
After he scored over Boban Marjanovic in the fourth quarter, Harrell exchanged words with someone on the Mavericks’ bench. The Lakers had opened a 118-102 lead on Harrell’s basket, forcing the Mavericks to call a timeout with 4 minutes 48 seconds left. Marjanovic glared at Harrell after the Lakers backup center spoke his mind.
But when the game was over, the 7-foot-4 Marjanovic, who is considered one of the nicest players in the NBA, and Harrell embraced, obviously letting bygones being bygones.
The two of them had been teammates with the Clippers, so Harrell and Marjanovic, who had six points in seven minutes off the bench for the Mavericks, knew what to expect from the other.
“Just good clean, competition, man,” Harrell said. “Boban is a great guy, man. He’s an amazing person. He has an amazing heart and soul. He’s a guy that’s always full of energy and a guy that always has a smile on his face. So, we really did just have a couple of laughs back and forth. It was good, clean competition.”
Kuzma was under control most of the game, hustling for rebounds, cutting and passing.
He finished his night with 13 points, shooting five for 11 from the field and three for four from three-point range. He had six rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot.
Morris was steady — rebounding, playing defense and making his shots when open.
He completed his night with nine points on three-for-five shooting, every attempt a three-pointer. He had seven rebounds, two assists and one steal.
“We’re a deep team,” Kuzma said. “We have five or six guys that can get you 20. We all just come in and play with energy, just try to keep the game afloat, or take the game over.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.