The Los Angeles Lakers were able to snap their two-game losing streak behind strong efforts from Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Alex Caruso in a 99-86 win over the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on Friday night.
Clarkson led the way for the team offensively, driving, spinning and shooting his way to a season-high 33 points in 34 minutes off of the bench. The fourth-year guard also chipped in seven assists and seven rebounds to flirt with a triple-double in a balanced effort.
Randle was stellar for stretches offensively, scoring 14 points to go with four rebounds while helping the Lakers’ get stops and get out in transition.
Caruso, who was called up from the G League to help in Lonzo Ball’s absence, didn’t get the start in the second overall pick’s absence, but he was arguably the key to the game for the Lakers.
Caruso scored five points and dished four assists, but his impact could only be shown by his highlights as he made key defensive plays to outlet the ball and get the Lakers easy baskets on the break while also throwing down a dunk of the year candidate in the first half.
Kyle Kuzma got the start to give the Lakers a little extra scoring punch in the absence of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram and Ball. He responded with 13 points, five assists and a key three down the stretch to help the Lakers extend their lead to 10 and hold on for a win.
Kuzma’s fellow forward, Larry Nance Jr., was also solid for the Lakers in the victory, chipping in 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting while stuffing the rest of the stat sheet to the tune of 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Nance also keyed the break for L.A. by haunting the Pacers’ passing lanes for three steals and several more deflections in the victory.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERS NATION FORUM CLUB