The Los Angeles Lakers stepped up in their second game of the regular season, getting their first win with a tight finish on the road.
After Lonzo Ball wasn’t able to guide his Los Angeles Lakers to an opening night win against the Clippers, the Phoenix Suns proved to be a much more beatable foe. Tasked with getting their first win sooner than later, Ball and company stepped up to the plate in a high-scoring affair.
While Ball wasn’t able to get much going in his first game, he was just one assist shy of a triple double against the Suns. Once Ball is able to adjust to the way that he’ll be defended in the NBA — not in a Summer League game or a scrimmage — we can expect him to produce at a higher level.
The rookie point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers ended the game with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists in a surprising turnaround. It was hard to applaud him after how he played against the Clippers, but whether you’re a fan of the kid or not, credit is due to him for making it happen in Phoenix and leaving with a win.
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Ball led both teams in scoring with his 29 points, while Los Angeles also got 25 points from Brandon Ingram, 17 from Jordan Clarkson, and another 18 from fellow rookie Kyle Kuzma. Altogether, the Lakers looked more on board in this game than in their regular season home opener, but just like in their loss, it’s important not to put too much on just one game, even in a win.
It’s a step in the right direction, no doubt. However, two games into an 82-game season is a small piece of the pie. In the big picture, it’s long-term success that the Lakers need to keep in mind, but games like tonight’s from Ball help get them there.
One thing to keep in mind moving forward is that it was a game against Phoenix. It’s worth noting that Phoenix was one of the worst teams last season and isn’t expected to make any major leap during this time around.
Point being that if Ball can produce consistently like this, the Lakers won’t lose to bad teams too often. However, the team obviously hopes they can compete at a high level and on the same page against the best in the business.
Los Angeles returns to the Staples Center on Oct. 22 to host the New Orleans Pelicans in their third contest of the year.