The Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Detroit Pistons was the best game of the season for Michael Beasley. The veteran celebrated his 30th birthday by scoring 19 points and dishing out four assists, both season-highs.
However thanks to Kyle Kuzma, Beasley was a secondary story. Kuzma scored a career-high 41 points on 16-of-24 shooting from the field and 5-for-10 from three-point range in just three quarters. He was able to sit out the fourth thanks to the Lakers being comfortably ahead.
Kuzma has quickly proven he can score at a high level, which is something that Beasley, a former second overall pick, can relate to. But even Beasley was left a little in awe at Kuzma’s performance.
“If I’m a great scorer, Kuz is scary. Confidence (is key for Kuzma). He took a lot of shots that a lot of guys wouldn’t look at, especially his late threes,” Beasley said. “As long as he keeps his foot on the gas, the sky is the limit.”
Much like Kuzma, Beasley came into the league known as a pure scorer. Kuzma has worked hard this season at improving his all-around game, working on his passing and defense in particular. Likewise, Beasley has shown in his limited appearances this season that he can do more than just score as well, as he showed with his assists on this night.
The win against the Detroit Pistons was about more than just Kuzma and Beasley as the Lakers put on one of their best all-around performances of the seasons, both offensively and defensively, building on a good second half in Dallas to get their second straight win.
“We are playing together like Lance said. We are playing hard on defense, not really harping on mistakes and leaving the refs alone no matter what calls they make,” Beasley said of the team’s play. “Just staying to our game plan and playing together.”
Beasley has only recently returned to the Lakers after dealing with personal issues and is already making a great case to get more consistent minutes. As the team returns to full strength it will be interesting to see what kind of role Beasley carves out for himself.
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