The Los Angeles Lakers, or what’s left of them anyway, couldn’t manage to steal another win on the road as they lost 112-106 to the Detroit Pistons after fatigue caught up to their starters in the final quarter.
With just nine players at their disposal on Monday, the Lakers had to play their starters heavy minutes yet again. Lonzo Ball played a game-high 43 minutes, while Kyle Kuzma played roughly 41 minutes. Sure, they’re young, but averaging nearly 40 minutes per game over the last 10 games was inevitably going to catch up to them, especially on the back end of a four-game road trip.
But it wasn’t all bad for the Lakers tonight. In fact, there was a lot of good things that happened, all things considered.
For starters, Ball looked the most confident he’s looked in weeks. With 15 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals, Ball was doing a little bit of everything for Los Angeles, including this:
Ball finished the game shooting a game-high 87.5 percent from the field, with most of his shots coming from midrange. Anyone who’s watched him play this season understands how strange that is.
Ball wasn’t the only one dishing out assists. Brook Lopez dished out a career-high 9 assists to go along with his 14 points and 5 blocks, tied for his season-high. He got the bulk of his assists from passing out of the post, something he should do more from here on out.
Julius Randle led the Lakers in scoring with 23 points after getting off to a slow start. He was also his usual self on the boards, grabbing 11 rebounds. He probably would have made an even bigger impact had he not picked up three of his five personal fouls in the first half. Thanks, Blake Griffin.
Last but not least, Kyle Kuzma put on a little show for his hometown, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds. No one should be looking forward to the flight home more than Kuzma, who has played 40-plus minutes in his last two games.
The Lakers will host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, where they’re hoping to have Brandon Ingram back in the starting lineup. We’ll see you then.