The Lakers put together their best defensive effort of this short season and gritted out a tough scrappy victory over the previously unbeaten Washington Wizards.
The Pandas came out with an energy and focus I haven’t seen from them to start a game all season jumping out to a 23 – 18 lead at the end of the first quarter. The good start didn’t last too long as the Pandas turned the ball over time and time again leading to back to back 30 point quarters for the Wiz which left them down 10 points heading into the 4th quarter.
The Panda defense fought back and held the Wiz to 13 points in the 4th quarter and thanks to a late miss from the free throw line from Bradley Beal, Brandon Ingram tied the game on a tip in of his own miss and forced overtime. In overtime the All-Panda lineup of Lonzo, KCP, Ingram, 2K (Kyle Kuzma) and JuJu played solid defense, rebound well and held the Wiz to only 7 points to secure the win.
Next up for the Lakers a visit from L.A. native Demar Derozan and the Toronto Raptors.
3 good things
My favorite thing about this game was the sense of urgency the Lakers came out with. It seems as though the trash talk from the Wizards fueled the young Lakers early on and provided them with a reason to fight and give consistent effort on the defensive end of the floor. The Pandas fought and came together in defense of one of their own.
Julius Randle didn’t play much until the fourth quarter and overtime but he made those 19 minutes count. Ju-Ju hit a big 3 with a minute left in regulation to bring the Pandas within 1 with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter. Ju-Ju finished the game with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 1 assist.
Brandon Ingram came up big with another solid performance. Besides getting the bucket which forced overtime Brandon Ingram had a very efficient night shooting 50% from the field even though he was 0-3 from deep. He finished the game with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists.
3 bad things
So the Wall vs Ball matchup people were looking forward to kinda fell flat on Wednesday night in L.A. Both guys had a very quiet first half. Wall turned it on in the 3rd quarter but had a lackluster 4th quarter and overtime. Lonzo shot only 2-11 on the night missing all 5 of his 3 point attempts but was able to impact the game with his playmaking and rebounding.
The Pandas committed 22 turnovers which led to 29 points for the Wizards. The early lead was built on ball movement and defense; the deficit came because the Lakers got sloppy with the ball in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
The Pandas shot the ball terribly from distance going 7- 30 from three-point range. Most of the threes taken were in the flow of the offense and were pretty good looks we’re gonna have to start knocking those down if we want to put together any type of winning streak.