L.A.

Lakers snap five-game losing streak against Pacers behind balance attack

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Despite starting point guard D’Angelo Russell exiting with a right leg injury, the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a five-game losing streak on Friday night against Indiana Pacers 108-96. 

Los Angeles took over in the second half gaining control of the game behind their balanced offensive attack with five players finishing in double-figure scoring. The Lakers now hold an 8-1 record on the season when holding the opposition under 100 points. Here are a few takeaways from their 16th win of the season:

Strong Third Quarter

The Lakers throughout much of the first half of the season struggled with their starts to the second half of games. 

This wasn’t the case against Indiana as Los Angeles took command early in the third quarter using an 18-6 run, which included 10-0 spurt capped off by a 3-pointer by Jose Calderon to gain their first double-digit lead of the game at 69-59. 

After the Pacers cut it the lead to just 69-66, Los Angeles responded with an 11-2 run to push their advantage back to double figures. In fact, they shot 53.8 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent from beyond the arc for 35 points, which was their highest amount in a quarter in the game. 

Los Angeles received a combined 23 points from the trio of Calderon, Brandon Ingram, Nick Young, and Calderon. They were all response for all but one made 3-pointer in the quarter. 

“We have played well like this before, it’s maintaining it,” head coach Luke Walton said. “That’s the challenge and that comes with commitment, practicing hard, guys getting time together and that’s what we are here to do.”

Mr. Sixth Man

In his second season with the Lakers, Lou Williams has been the team’s most consistent offensive scoring punch, and he put that on full display on Friday night notching a game-high 27 points on 7-of-15 shooting including 9-of-10 from the free throw line.  

Williams did the majority of his damage in the second half notching 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting that played a critical part in helping Los Angeles turn the game in their favor stretching the lead to as much as 20 points. 

“I don’t think about it,” Williams said of his scoring. “I don’t even see the guy in front of me. I just get what’s presented to me. It’s easy to me.”

It marked his 17th, 20-plus point performance of the season, the 22nd time that he has led the team in scoring, and 44th time notching double-figures in 47 total games played. 

Ingram Produces

With another opportunity to start in place of an injured Luol Deng, Ingram took advantage putting together a solid outing recording 15 points 6-of-14 shooting with seven rebounds in 33 minutes played. 

Ingram also tied his career high with three made 3-pointers and finished just two points from tying his career high. 

The 19-year-old proved to be huge in the third quarter scoring 10 points in the period including eight of the Lakers’ first 13 points helping his team turn the tide in their favor. 

“I think I was locked in and more focused,” Ingram said. “I was just happy that I could score and make plays for my teammates and have a defensive mindset.”

Following the game, Walton voiced praise for the 2016 second overall pick on his play on both sides of the floor against All-Star forward Paul George.  

“His activity was great, the way he was pushing the ball and getting deflections. I think that’s the player he will become,” Walton said. “It shows how much he’s grown because I remember the first time we played against Paul George; I thought that Brandon wasn’t ready. 

To see it now, where he was way more up to the challenge shows a lot of growth on his part.”

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.
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