The Los Angeles Lakers picked up a huge win on Thursday night, dominating the Miami Heat, 131-113. Despite the best efforts of Dwyane Wade, who led the Heat with 25 points, the Lakers offense was too much and rookie point guard Lonzo Ball had a huge impact on both ends.
He finished with eight points, six rebounds, seven assists, and a career-high six steals in 34 minutes. It was the most Ball has played since he returned from a sprained MCL. He was also a game-high +24 when he was on the floor.
Following the game, Wade praised the rookie’s talent and mindset of putting the team above all else, and Wade added he believes Ball has a long career ahead of him, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
“I have been a big fan of him. I watched him play in college. He has a great feel of the game and he doesn’t play for statistics, he plays to win. He moves the ball and his IQ of the game is incredible. He’s athletic. Everyone talks about his shot, but he has been shooting that way his whole life. He can knock shots down. He is good, man, he is a good basketball player. Everyone expects him to come in and be Kobe Bryant, but Kobe Bryant wasn’t Kobe Bryant when he came in. He had to work to it. So he has a long career, hopefully, in front of him and we will see how it shakes out.”
Wade and Ball certainly had their moments on the court as well. Lonzo was guarding Wade on his unbelievable fadeaway jumper from behind the backboard, something Wade complimented Lonzo on in an Instagram post. Lonzo would get his revenge later on with an impressive finish through a Wade foul.
Lonzo garnering compliments from his fellow NBA players has been an ongoing story throughout this season. Those who play against him witness and appreciate what he does on the court and as he continues to develop, his impact will only grow larger.
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