The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off their Summer League on Friday night as they played their crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers. There was a ton of anticipation as it marked the debut of second overall pick Lonzo Ball.
Unfortunately, Ball struggled shooting in his debut, making only two of his 15 shots. Thankfully Brandon Ingram looked every bit of a future star, but the Lakers came up just short to the Clippers, falling 96-93 in overtime.
Ingram looked like he shouldn’t be playing at Summer League, finishing with 26 points, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. He led the Lakers on a late run to tie the game, and nearly won it with a short jumper at the end of regulation. In a bit of a scare, he came up lame after missing the shot and Magic Johnson, sitting courtside, immediately called for him to be removed from the game.
Even though he struggled shooting, Ball’s passing was on display as he had five assists and many other plays that led to buckets or fouls. Ball also contributed four assists, two steals, and a block, but he was not the most outstanding rookie on this night.
That honor went to the lone second-round pick Thomas Bryant who finished with 13 points and five rebounds. He got a standing ovation from the Lakers fans in attendance because of his constant hustle and energy plays. Kyle Kuzma showed off his all-around game with nine points, four rebounds, and three assists while Josh Hart showed off his defense and finished with five points.
One surprising disappointment on the night was the play of Ivica Zubac who looked out of sorts and even overwhelmed at times. Considering how good he looked last summer there was a lot expected of him, but he came up short.
The Clippers were led by Brice Johnson and Sindarius Thornwell who finished with 23 and 26 points respectively. Former Laker Kendall Marshall also had a solid game with 11 points and 11 assists.
The Lakers will get right back to work on Saturday when they play the Boston Celtics.