One game after he scored a season-high 29 points, Brandon Ingram passed the proverbial torch to Kyle Kuzma, who poured in a career-high 41 points to help lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a win over the Detroit Pistons.
Although Kuzma struggled from deep in the first quarter, he was getting baskets at the rim thanks in large part to Lonzo Ball and Ingram finding him either in the flow of the offense or ahead on a fast break.
Kuzma erupted for 22 points in the third quarter and called it a night after that. “I didn’t know he had 41 points in three quarters, but that’s kind of what he does, is score the basketball,” Ingram said. “He has a knack for finding the basketball and putting it inside the rim.
“It shows that anybody (on the Lakers roster) can have a hot night. We have the talent for it. We’re willing to make the extra pass and we just want to continue to keep pushing it, find those guys that have nights like that.”
While Kuzma was the star, Ingram turned in another all-around performance with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Lakers young core has struggled some to find their footing since losing LeBron James and Rajon Rondo to injuries, but the team has now won back-to-back games. They put the clamps on the Dallas Mavericks in the second half on Monday and rode that momentum into the matchup with the Pistons.
Detroit shot 44.8 percent from the field and were out-rebounded by the Lakers, 53-42.
“Just buying into the game plan,” Ingram said of the Lakers’ defensive success. “The coaching staff is doing a really good job of drawing up an easy way to defend guys and their main points in their offense. We just followed it and continued to follow it.”
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