Down three key contributors in LeBron James, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, the Los Angeles Lakers nearly rode Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma to a win over the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers fell behind by as many as 12 points in the first quarter and were ahead by 15 in the fourth in a see-saw game that ended on a Bogdan Bogdanovic 3-pointer over Tyson Chandler at the buzzer. It was a sour finish to what was otherwise an encouraging game for the Lakers.
They sent out a lineup comprised of their draft picks within the past three seasons, with Ingram and Ivica Zubac the oldest at 21 years old. While Ingram finished with 22 points, he missed a free throw that left the Lakers with only a two-point lead before Bogdanovic’s buzzer-beater.
Ingram also was among the players who fell victim to attempting to do too much down the stretch. He acknowledged that was the case when explaining how the Lakers squandered their double-digit lead, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“We got a little impatient. I think they picked up the defensive pressure, and the the ball kind of sticked a little bit. I know the ball kind of sticked to my hands a little bit too much. … We’ve just got to find a better way to execute. I think going through this will help us prepare for [Friday] and another really, really good team, and how to execute and be patient and poised down the stretch.”
Although the third-year forward recognized he may have pressed matters, Ingram doesn’t necessarily intend to pull back while James and Rondo are out:
“Continue to do what I’ve been doing even more. Drawing and kicking, being aggressive to the rim, shooting when I’m open, making plays for my teammates. Just being aggressive on the offensive and defensive end.”
The remarks mirror what Ingram stated prior to facing the Kings, when he detailed a likelihood to take advantage of being able to play his style of game more often. The Lakers have entrusted Ingram to handle point-guard responsibilities in spot-duty in the past, and reaped the benefits of it.
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