Following a game where he scored just 13 points on a season-low 20 percent (4-20) shooting from the field, Kuzma went full scorched earth against the Pistons, scoring all of his 41 points in the first three quarters before being able to rest for the final frame.
Even more impressive than Kuzma’s scoring, though, was the fact that he did it while contributing zero assists. That offseason training session with Kobe Bryant paid off, it seems.
However, unlike Bryant, Kuzma couldn’t do it all on his own. The Lakers also got a few strong contributions from their bench.
Michael Beasley scored a season-high 19 points off of the bench on the night of his 30th birthday. That is what I call super cool, Beas.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was also productive with his time on the court, scoring 15 points.
Setting those baskets up, at least half of the time, was Lonzo Ball, who tallied 5 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists and 2 steals while posting a game-high box plus-minus of +24.
As a team, the Lakers were moving the ball really well, dishing out a total of 30 assists. Their season-high is 34 assists, although despite all the above positives, they still left the crowd letting out an audible groan at the buzzer when they let the Pistons score to get to 100, denying the hungry crowd their free tacos.
The Lakers will be back at it on Friday to take on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. There’s a really, really small chance that LeBron James is available by then, but if he isn’t, it looks like they won’t be too choked up about it. They’re now 3-5 without James, and while they surely want their star back, they’re finally showing they’re not totally helpless without him.