The Los Angeles Lakers had Brandon Ingram back in the starting lineup, but without Lonzo Ball setting the tone for the style of play, struggled against the Memphis Grizzlies, losing 109-99. It was a tough night for Kyle Kuzma who finished with nine points and eight rebounds, shooting just 4-24 from the field and 1-11 from three-point range.
Kuzma refused to use the heavy minutes he’s played as an excuse for why he had an off-shooting night and instead chalked it up to something all professionals go through.
Head coach Luke Walton said he wants Kuzma to focus on play-making and defending when his shot isn’t falling and also talked about what the entire team is missing without Ball. Though Walton didn’t want to directly say that the Lakers season-low 14 assists were a result of the team playing selfish, he did say that his players were consistently trying to do things individually, rather than make that extra pass.
Ingram, who was back in the starting lineup after issues with both of his calves on Christmas Day finished with 23 points, four rebounds and five assists. Despite being the Lakers leading scorer, Ingram was terrible from the free throw line. His six missed free throws (5-11) contributed to the Lakers going 21-33 as a team from the charity stripe.
Larry Nance Jr. finished with 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench in his 19 minutes of playing time. Nance looks ahead to the Clippers on Friday and addresses their free throw woes.
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