LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers grabbed their first win of the preseason on Thursday night topping the Sacramento Kings 128-123 behind a strong performance from third-year forward Brandon Ingram posting a game-high 31 points.
It was an outing that Ingram maintained a strong level of aggressiveness with his offense looking to get going that saw him get to the line consistently throughout the night where he had 15 attempts knocking down 11. He was also huge late in the game helping his team pull out the win in the waning moments of the contest that included a strong defensive stance knocking away four straight in-bounds plays that were capped off with a steal that earn him a trip to the free throw line.
Following the game, LeBron James spoke glowingly of his new teammate voicing much praise about Ingram’s play throughout the night that believes showcased his promising ability on the court.
“I think he was great all game not just in the second half,” James said. “His pace. His ability to play the point (and) play the wing. He’s definitely a special talent and we are definitely happy to have him on our side.”
It was a strong overall outing from Ingram that he demonstrated strong control over his shot selection hitting 10-of-15 attempts that helped pace the Lakers as the leading offensive factor. Ingram has an opportunity in front of him to step into a more prominent offensive role alongside James as the two displayed more growing chemistry on the floor together that was evident by the 33-year-old finding him cutting to the basket more consistently that gave way for a pair of dunks on the night.
Ingram also spoke highly about the experience playing next to James stating that James makes the entire process on the cour that much more easier while it gives him and his teammates a better understanding and comfort on the floor.
“Comfortability coming in every day,” Ingram said. “I think he puts everybody in the right spot every day and we know what exactly what to do. We know exactly where to be open at. He makes it easy for our guys that listen on the floor.”
Meanwhile, James also chimed in on that growing bond between the two that could become a focal point the team’s success this upcoming season along with extending his arm to helping the growth the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
“It’s growing more and more every day,” James said. “I know what I see him in him. He’s looking for this opportunity to make the next jump in his third year. There is a lot of upside in that kid and I am happy to give him as much I can. He is a great kid that works hard and has a lot of talent and he believes in his ability. We will see what the next jump is but none of us are prophets we don’t know.”
James took that level of excitement about what the future holds for his teammate on social media.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 5, 2018
With the guidance and continued praise from James, all of this has only driven Ingram even harder to become a better player on the court to reach his own astronomical expectations set forth ahead of himself.
“It does but also it makes you want to keep going up and keep from stopping here,” Ingram said. “I set my expectations higher (for myself) than anyone in this room.”
Bob Garcia IV
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