The Los Angeles Lakers overcame a sluggish stretch of hooping to turn their road-trip opening game against the Washington Wizards into a contest, but John Wall drained the dagger in a 116-108 loss. Wall scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including the knockout blow with 40 seconds left in the game.
Wall finished with a game-high 33 points and 11 assists. Bradley Beal’s three-point shooting (5-of-9) served as the one-two punch Washington launched straight into the grill of the Lakers. Marcin Gortat, meanwhile, had his way with the Lakers’ frontcourt en route to 21 points and 14 rebounds.
D’Angelo Russell notched his second double-double in a row, finishing with 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. He nearly ascended into triple-double territory, which would have been an even more resounding return after needing time off to nurse his leg injuries.
The not-so-good part of Russell’s night were the seven turnovers he coughed up, while the Lakers struggled to take care of the ball as a team (20).
Scoring just 15 points in the second quarter was the beginning of the end for LA, with the reserves struggling to find ways to score without Russell leading the way. Julius Randle returned after missing two games due to pneumonia but played five minutes. Nick Young, fresh off of being named to the three-point shooting contest, made just one of his eight three-point attempts.
The Wizards have been hot, the Lakers have been cold, and that’s all the story that needs to be told. It’s a big day for the Lakers Friday afternoon, who wrap up a back-to-back with a visit to the Boston Celtics.