The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had the best press as of late, and not all of it is their fault. Sunday night, however, finally sparked some good vibes.
Heading into their game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers had dropped nine-straight and 11 of their last 12. It was a dark time in Hollywood. Lonzo Ball had missed four games toward the end of the streak, and Sunday was his second game back from injury.
By the end of the 132-113 blowout, the Lakers had eight players crack double-digits. Brandon Ingram, who’s shown tremendous improvement as a sophomore, led the way with 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting and also dropped seven assists. “Everybody was on a string together,” said Ingram after the game. “We trusted each other, whether it was individual defense, whether it was help-side defense, transition defense. I think we all trusted each other.”
The Lakers, contrary to how they’ve played recently, brought out the clamps (kind of). Atlanta put up 113 points, but the pace was so frenetic (107.1 possessions) that they weren’t efficient with how they created them. Their offensive rating was just 105.6 points per 100 possessions. Additionally, they shot 43.6 percent from the floor and got forced into 15 turnovers, which led to 26 Laker points.
Jordan Clarkson had a dazzling performance as well. Los Angeles’ bench put in 62 points, and Clarkson led the way with 18; Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart and 14 and 12, respectively.
Lonzo, as he’s done all season, made an impact without being a scoring threat. He had 13 points but on 5-of-13 shooting. It’s evident that Ball is still the worst shooter in the NBA (his 43.3 true shooting percentage is lowest in the league among players averaging at least 10 shots a night), but the Lakers aren’t relying on him to score.
To supplement that, Zo got back to attacking the glass creating open shots for teammates. In his 29 minutes, he grabbed 10 boards and handed out six dimes, and, like the rest of the team, seemed to enjoy playing under Luke Walton, which is contradictory to what a particular father said before the game.
Now, of course, we’re going to watch and see if the Los Angeles Lakers can use this win to create some momentum.
- LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 14 rebounds in a crushing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers following the news that Kawhi Leonard suffered a slight tear in his left shoulder.
- Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender had the first 20 point game of his career against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It took 84 games for it to happen, but congratulations!
- Russell Westbrook had yet another triple-double on Sunday with 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. However, it came in a loss. It was an excellent individual performance, but not winning makes the stats virtually meaningless.
UTA 102 – 103 MIA
NYK 100 – 96 DAL
OKC 100 – 114 PHX
SAS 110 – 111 POR
ATL 113 – 132 LAL
Start a conversation with me on Twitter