Wednesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs started innocently enough. The Los Angeles Lakers looked like the better team and appeared on their way to, at the very least, a fairly solid win. Then, Brandon Ingram went up for a fadeaway mid-range jumper, LaMarcus Aldridge took an extra step and Ingram finished the play holding his ankle.
The good news: Ingram had x-rays done and they came back negative for any kind of fracture.
The bad news: The sprain was bad enough that he was ruled out for the remainder of the game and might miss time. How much time remains to be seen, but given how quickly he was ruled out Wednesday night, it’s hard to see him being available for Friday’s rematch in San Antonio.
Despite all that, the Lakers were able to come away with a 121-113 victory behind a monster effort from LeBron James and some timely shooting down the stretch. James finished with 42 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
It wasn’t easy. As if losing Ingram wasn’t enough, the referees opted to give a little more help to the visiting team. In what felt like 30 seconds, Josh Hart picked up three fouls and Kyle Kuzma picked up a pair himself, leaving the Lakers insanely thin throughout their rotation. The rest of the game was poorly officiated for both sides and never really had any real flow to it.
Another thing lacking rhythm Wednesday night and of late has been the Lakers’ free-throw shooting. Good lord. They’re free, you guys. The word “free” is right there in the name.
Still, in terms of the way the game played out, it’s a good thing the Lakers have a superstar now. He was doing everything he possibly could to keep the Lakers in the game and then took over late. That the Lakers missed roughly 57 wide open threes early on didn’t help matters, but a couple clutch triples from Hart — and some slick passing from Kyle Kuzma — gave James enough support to pull out the win in the end.
The Lakers and Spurs will both fly to San Antonio for their fourth and final game against each other this season on Friday night. Tip-off for that is 5:30 PM, PST and can be watched on Spectrum SportsNet.