Talen Horton-Tucker found himself among the Los Angeles Lakers’ starters from the very first game since returning from a thumb injury, making an instant impact following his 2021-22 season debut.
Horton-Tucker has already shown off growth on both ends of the floor. Defensively, the 20-year-old has improved at utilizing his impressive frame to pester rival guards on and around the perimeter.
Meanwhile, he caused a great deal of damage on the offensive end in both games he has played this season. Horton-Tucker was one of the few Lakers’ shining lights in Monday’s 121-103 loss to the Chicago Bulls, scoring a career-high 28 points.
“I was just trying to go out there and play hard,” the guard said. “We were down, so just trying to keep fighting was the main thing on my mind. Just trying to give my teammates a boost in any kind of way.”
Horton-Tucker admitted LeBron James’ absence played a factor in the range of responsibilities he was given in his first two games of the season.
“Well coming out, especially with him out, you always know that you got to play hard and kind of make up the slack for a big piece of our team being out,” he said.
“So just any way we can to try to make up for him being out, we just all got to bring our games up to another level.”
The latest reports claim James could return from his abdomen injury for Friday’s game against the Boston Celtics.
Horton-Tucker enjoyed match-up with former Laker Alex Caruso
The Monday clash marked the first time Alex Caruso returned to Staples Center since leaving L.A. to sign with the Bulls in the offseason.
Horton-Tucker said he enjoyed coming up against his former teammate, who started for Chicago against the Lakers.
“It was fun outside the fact that we lost,” Horton-Tucker said. “Always going against your former teammate is fun. AC is a great player, and he brings a lot to the table. I’m just happy for him to get what he deserves. That’s all I really can say.”
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