Andre Ingram got his legend off to a great start in his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Lakers couldn’t capitalize on a hot shooting night from the 32-year-old and lost to the Houston Rockets 105-99.
Ingram’s signing was the feel good story of the week. A veteran that spent the last 10 years in the G League, seven of which were with the Lakers G-League affiliate starting in 2012, Ingram was called up to finish the season out with the organization that knows him best. However, he’s not just a nice story, it turns out the guy can straight ball.
Ingram scored 19 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc while adding 3 rebounds, 3 blocks and 1 assists. The Lakers’ energy wasn’t where it needed to be start the first quarter, but Ingram’s hot shooting got the crowd at STAPLES Center and his teammates back into the game.
His teammates, particularly those that played with him on the South Bay Lakers like Thomas Bryant, were eating every minute of his NBA debut up. The crowd was just as into it, serenading him with MVP chants at the free throw line because Lakers fans are the best.
But his heart and effort wasn’t enough to contain Houston high-octane offense. While the Lakers were able to hold Houston to 42 percent shooting from the field, the Rockets made 16 of their 47 three-point attempts, four of which came from Chris Paul.
The Rockets chose not to rest any of their starters despite the fact that they clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Had the rolled out their reserves, the Lakers probably would have walked away with the win.
Josh Hart continues to be the Lakers’ go-to guy in the absence of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Hart scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, one short of the team-high. Tuesday marked the third consecutive 20-plus point game for Hart, who has shown he can carry the offense if needed.
The Los Angeles Lakers will wrap up their season Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers. We’ll see you then.