A phrase that all Los Angeles Lakers fans are tired of hearing is, “it’s a young team.” This years Lakers team is indeed young, but it doesn’t lack the heart and determination it takes to fight back from a fourth quarter deficit. On Sunday night, it was a 22 point deficit that was only a few possessions going differently down the stretch of being a win. Tonight against the Washington Wizards, it was a ten point fourth quarter deficit, that we saw the Lakers climb all the way back and force overtime on Brandon Ingram’s last second putback, off his own missed shot. The two teams battled back and forth for the entire overtime period, but finally it was the young, inexperienced Lakers team that got it done, winning the game 102-99.
Ingram: 19p, 10r
Nance Jr.: 18p, 10r pic.twitter.com/gX5ObO5e6G
— NBA (@NBA) October 26, 2017
There were a lot of contributors to the outcome in Staples Center. Brandon Ingram led the way with a strong outing of 19 points, adding 10 rebounds. However, 11 of those 19 came in the fourth, showing Lakers fans what we’ve wanted to see from Ingram, aggression late in games. He wasn’t hesitant but rather was pushing the issue late, making the biggest shot of the game to force overtime. Brandon caught the ball from the inbound pass of Lonzo, sized up Kelly Oubre Jr., and drove strongly to the hole. The solid defense from Oubre forced the miss high off the glass and to one side, but Ingram fought to the other side, and tipped it softly in with his off hand.
The other key contributors for the Lakers were Lonzo Ball, who only scored 8 points, but tallied 10 assists, pacing the offense. Larry Nance Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds, as well. Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both hit key shots down the stretch, and solid defense on both the bigs and John Wall. The real MVP of this game and a great story has to be Julius Randle, perhaps making the biggest defensive play of the game on John Wall in a one point game in overtime to seal the game. He was playing helpside and sagging in the paint. KCP tried for a quick steal but was unsuccessful which left John Wall with a wide open lane to drive, he rose up but Julius Randle was there, met him straight up and got the block. It was originally ruled Wizards ball but after consulting the replay booth, they ruled it off of John Wall, and Julius sealed the game with an emphatic dunk after the Lakers broke the full court press.
This game showed a lot of Lakers fans what we have been looking for, not only resilience to fight back, but to finish the game. They did just that on a good Washington Wizard team, dropping the Wizards to 3-1. The Los Angeles Lakers evened their record to 2-2. The Los Angeles Lakers stay at home for a tilt against the Toronto Raptors this Friday, with tip-off at 7:30 PT.
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