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Luke Walton wants Brandon Ingram to ‘play the game as it comes to him’

Brandon Ingram, Lakers
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers grabbed their third straight win on Thursday night for the first time this season in a 93-81 win over the San Antonio Spurs. 

Second-year forward Brandon Ingram led the charge offensively scoring a game-high 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field along with going 2-of-5 from beyond the arc with three rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 37 minutes of action. 

Ingram got off to a strong start in the first half with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting that included a pair of 3-pointers. He shot an efficient 3-of-5 from the field including knocking down both of his 3-pointers in the period for the half. Much of his offensive action came from various spots on the floor with much of his scoring coming from the mid-range off high pick-and-roll action and along the baseline.

Although his scoring pace slowed down a bit in the second half, he had a couple of key buckets late in the fourth quarter in the that helped fuel the Lakers’ 16-6 run that sealed the win. This performance marked Ingram’s 11th 20-point outing of the season and his third in the month of January while shooting above 52 percent from the field in each of the last three games. 

Following the game, head coach Luke Walton praised his young forward’s performance that saw him shoot a career-high 21 attempts, but at the same time voiced that he wants him to stay within the flow of the game. 

“We want Brandon to play the game as it comes to him,” Walton said. “There’s some people that are straight scorers, [and] Brandon is not one of them. He’s a player that can score a lot, but he’s also a very good play-maker. The way he can handle pick and rolls, his vision on the court, we want him taking what the defense gives him.

“If obviously in some games as he continues to grow as a young player, that requires him to take over by scoring, then do that. But to say, ‘Every night we want you to come out and take 21 shots,’ no, that’s not what we’re looking for, but there will definitely be nights when that happens.”

It’s a mindset that Ingram has adopted looking to stay aggressive on each play with the goal of making the right decision for the betterment of the team on every possession. 

“Just continue to be aggressive,” Ingram said. “Make the right play for my teammates. Whether it’s scoring the basketball. Whether it’s looking for the open man. Just trying to be aggressive on every single play.”

Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball also boasted about his teammate’s scoring ability as the focal point of the offense. 

“He pretty much is the offense,” Ball said. “We give him the ball and get out of the way and we know that it is going to be a bucket. He scores pretty easily and that is his game.” 

Ingram has seen a notable uptick in his scoring taken a significant uptick in his second campaign averaging 16.4 points with also 5.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per contest. It’s something that he and the Lakers will look to build upon in this upcoming three-game road trip with eyes toward extending their three-game win streak.

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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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