James Harden, Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets were just too much for this young Lakers team that has now lost it’s fifth straight game, before heading into a tough December schedule packed with road trips. Los Angeles gave up 27 points off 21 turnovers, an area they’ve struggled with all season long.
Rookie Kyle Kuma finished with a team-high 22 points and his seventh double-double of the season, while Brandon Ingram followed close behind with 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a steal.
Head coach Luke Walton said he challenged Kuzma before the game to get back to playing with that defensive edge he played with at the beginning of the season, and Kuzma said he thought he did a pretty good job meeting that challenge.
Lonzo Ball finished with just two points (0-4), three assists, one rebound and three turnovers in 22 minutes of playing time. Walton said Ball didn’t have that same bounce or push that he usually has, which his calf tightness could have contributed to.
Ball dealt with the calf tightness during the game (said it felt like a knot in each calf), but did his best to play through it. Walton decided to let him rest, since the game wasn’t close.
Walton also talks about how this point in the schedule has the ability to break a team down. The players react differently to whether they feel like their confidence has been affected.
Ingram says he’s still working on becoming a better leader and thinks the attitude and character of this team is really high despite the losing streak. The sophomore forward thinks back to last season’s December slump and discusses whether he can take anything away from that heading into the roadtrip.
Plus, Ingram has a little bit of a different take on their turnover woes.
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