Lonzo Ball made his much-anticipated debut, LeBron James controlled the first half, and Brandon Ingram took over the second as the Los Angeles Lakers left Las Vegas with a 123-113 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
All eyes were on Ball, last year’s second overall pick, as he played for the first time since late March. After shaking off some early rust, showed off that same impressive all-around game with some noted improvements.
Ball finished with seven points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals, and showed off some impressive strength in knocking back Klay Thompson on a drive to the basket in the third quarter.
The first half was all about James, however. He played 18 minutes and finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and provided the highlight of the night with a ridiculous left-handed finish as his right arm was grabbed by the Warriors’ Kevon Looney.
James also ended the half with a 40-foot 3-pointer to give the Lakers a four-point advantage going into the locker room. With James resting in the second half, it was Ingram who took over in the third after a rough start.
Ingram would finish with 26 points and lived at the free throw line with 17 attempts, making 15. The Lakers also got 22 points from Kyle Kuzma and 20 from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who enjoyed his best outing of the preseason.
There were plenty of positives to take away for the Lakers as they had 28 assists on 39 baskets, forced 25 Warriors turnovers, and made 38-of-46 free throws. The three-point shooting (7-for-23) still has some improving to do, but the pace with which the Lakers played and the attention on defense surely gave fans plenty to look forward to as the regular season draws near.
All that remains in the preseason for the Lakers is another meeting with these same Warriors on Friday night. The regular season will then tip off next Thursday when the Lakers head to Portland to face the Trail Blazers.
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