Despite a spirited effort from LeBron James and what’s left of the Los Angeles Lakers, they couldn’t upset the Boston Celtics and complete the season series sweep, losing 120-107 on Saturday night.
In light of all of the names on the injury report for Los Angeles, head coach Luke Walton rolled out yet another new starting lineup on Saturday that included rookie Moe Wagner. Wagner has appeared in 26 games for the Lakers this season, but he’s never started. After the effort he showed against the Celtics, that should probably change.
In team-high 34 minutes on the floor, the 21-year-old center posted 22 points on 7-13 shooting from the field, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. While that’s certainly not a bad stat line for a rookie in his first career NBA start, it doesn’t fully reflect the way his energy and effort impacted the game. With playoffs almost definitely out of the question, Walton should consider giving Wagner starter’s minutes for the rest of the season.
Johnathan Williams also made the most of the opportunity he was given, putting up 18 points and 10 rebounds. Williams spent most of the regular season in the G League with the South Bay Lakers, but he’s starting to show why the parent team offered him a two-way contract.
Last, but certainly not least, LeBron James did his thing against the Celtics, pouring on a team-high 30 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 12 assists in 27 minutes of playing time. If he’s not careful, he might mess around win the Lakers a game before the season ends.
The Lakers will have the next two days off before embarking on a week-long road trip starting in Chicago on Tuesday. Until then, everyone on the roster should covered head-to-toe in bubble wrap.
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