With Brook Lopez sidelined for at least the next three weeks nursing a right ankle sprain, Luke Walton was forced to shake his starting lineup up and decided to move Larry Nance Jr. to the bench in favor of a front court featuring Andrew Bogut and rookie Kyle Kuzma. While Bogut did enough to justify staying on the floor, Kuzma was the Lakers’ shining star on Wednesday.
Kuzma started the game a perfect 9-for-9 from the field, including six three-pointers in the first half, which ties the most three-pointers by a rookie this season. Donovan Mitchell has done it twice in two full games. Kuzma did it in a single half.
Kuzma ended the game with 38 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block, leading all scorers not named James Harden, who racked up an unreal 51 points and 9 assists.
If there was any doubt before, Kuzma made it clear Monday that he is the real deal.
I’d be remissed not to mention the impact Corey Brewer had for the Lakers tonight. The 10-year veteran gave the Lakers a season-high 21 points off the bench on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor. His previous season-highs were 13 points and 9 points against Phoenix, of course.
It’s not always easy watching Brewer play basketball, but it was fun to watch him hit shots he usually doesn’t make (read: all of them).
The Lakers will have a days rest before traveling to Oakland to face off against the Golden State Warriors for the second time this week and the third time within the last 30 days. Both times the Lakers and the Warriors have played this season, the games went to overtime, so let’s hope Friday’s action is just as exciting.