The Los Angeles Lakers wrapped up preseason play with a convincing 119-105 win over the Golden State Warriors despite being shorthanded, with the likes of LeBron James and Rajon Rondo getting the night off ahead of Thursday’s regular season opener.
Among those to suit up, however, was Lonzo Ball, who appeared in just his second game of the preseason. Despite seeing limited action this summer, the second-year guard stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, seven assists and six rebounds in nearly 24 minutes of action.
Ball had missed two-thirds of the preseason while recovering from offseason knee surgery. He made his debut on Wednesday in the first of consecutive games against the Warriors, and immediately connected with James in their first game together.
James came away impressed, and so did Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, who cited Ball’s conditioning as a key factor to the guard’s progression this preseason, per Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“Kinda normal honestly,” Kyle Kuzma said. “I don’t know how he does it. He didn’t do nothing all summer, practiced for the first time last week or whatever. He was running up and down, great physical shape, so I think he did great for the most part.”
While Ball was able to only log a combined 47 minutes of action in the preseason, the main takeaway is that his knee appears completely healthy heading into Thursday’s contest with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers’ top priority for Ball this summer was to ease him back into game shape, and if Friday was any indication, he should be good to go for the start of the regular season.
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