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Lakers vs. Bulls Preview: Can L.A.’s Summer League squad carry momentum into Las Vegas?

Fresh off a thrilling close to the “California Classic” portion of their schedule, the Lakers’ Summer League team now is tasked with stiffer competition in Las Vegas.

2019 California Classic - Day 3 - Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off their 2019 NBA Summer League slate with an uninspiring and woeful 106-79 defeat to the Miami Heat, in a game which they looked thoroughly outgunned from the get-go.

Fortunately, the team has since rebounded nicely from their poor debut, winning their last two contests of the “California Classic” portion of their schedule which included a thrilling game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds from recent two-way deal signee — Zach Norvell Jr.

The former Gonzaga Bulldog has been a bright spot for the Lakers’ Summer League squad thus far, finishing the exhibition contests in Sacramento fifth in points (14) and fourth in assists (four) per game among all players who participated.

Another player who has been a pleasant surprise within the team’s first three games is point guard, Jordan Howard. Helping overcome a double-digit deficit late, Howard poured in 17 points in the fourth quarter alone and finished with game-high’s in points (25) and +/- (+18) in the team’s recent win against the Kings.

Standing at only 5’11,” Howard was a late addition to the Lakers’ summer league roster and has not only impressed with his confidence, but his ability to shoot the ball (50 percent from behind the arc thus far).

The 23-year-old’s shooting prowess dates back to his time at Central Arkansas, in which he was a career 41.3 percent 3-point shooter in four years with the Bears.

Although playing better basketball recently, the Lakers’ squad will likely be tasked with stiffer competition and against recent lottery picks as they have reached the Las Vegas segment of their Summer League calendar.

Up first, the Lakers will take on the recent number-seven-overall pick in June’s draft — Coby White — and the Chicago Bulls at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Lakers will take on the Bulls at 4:30 p.m. PST on ESPN. You can follow Alex on Twitter at @AlexmRegla.

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