The Los Angeles Lakers were able to get their first win with LeBron James sitting out as they defeated the Sacramento Kings, 121-114. The Lakers ended the game on an 18-4 run that was sparked by Brandon Ingram who scored seven straight points to put the Lakers ahead.
Ingram finished with 21 points on the night, and has averaged 20 points per game since James went down. But more importantly, Ingram led the Lakers with nine assists while also adding seven rebounds and two blocks in one of his better all-around performances.
With James and Rajon Rondo out, much more pressure has been put on Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma to step up and lead the team, and head coach Luke Walton believes Ingram showed what he is capable of at his best.
“I thought Brandon Ingram, he showed tonight the complete game I talk about all the time when people ask when is Brandon at his best,” Walton said following the victory. “I tell you, he’s a basketball player. 20 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, couple blocks, a steal, that’s when Brandon is at his best.”
What was especially impressive about Ingram’s performance was his playmaking as he led the Lakers in assists. Balancing the playmaking and scoring can be difficult and Ingram felt that he should be looking more to set up the rest of the team first, as opposed to looking for his own shot.
Walton however, didn’t completely agree with that thought process. “With him it’s not about looking for his teammates first or not. It’s just making the right play,” Walton added. “I thought tonight he did that. He seemed to have a joy about him that when he has, it’s fun to watch.
Still only in his third season, Ingram has had his ups and downs throughout his career and this year. With the constant changes to the lineups and rotations due to injuries it has been kind of difficult for Ingram to really lock down his role and whenever LeBron returns he will have to adjust again.
But it is performances like these that show how dangerous the Lakers can ultimately become when everyone comes together.
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.