Lakers’ defense defines their road win in Chicago

The Lakers hold the Bulls to 37.6% field goal percentage in Chicago tonight with strong team defense, leading to a 108-103 win.  On the season the Bulls shoot 44% but the Lakers made the Bulls work hard for their baskets tonight.  Chicago did manage to recapture the lead in the fourth quarter, primarily due to out rebounding the Lakers (with the final tally 53 to 48) but L.A. dug deep and pulled out the win.  The Lakers actually shot a better percent from the free throw line tonight than their opponents, 75% to 67% (Lakers 21 of 28, Bulls 16 of 24) !!  Hooray!!

It was nice seeing Brandon Ingram have a good all around game.  He was the game top scorer with 25 points and missed a double double by only one rebound and he had 5 assists.  Kuzma started out strong in the first half with 9 points but couldn’t find his shot in the second.  Fortunately, several Lakers scored double digit points tonight, Brook Lopez (probably intent on showing up his brother, Robin) had 17 points, Clarkson with 19 and Randle  14.

It’s a good start to their five game road trip and Lakers fans are happy to see them win four consecutive games again.  Next up is a tough opponent on Sunday when the Lakers face the Toronto Raptors.

And when is Lonzo Ball returning to the line up?????

Lakers 5 in a row at Staples !

Another fun game today as the Lakers protect their home court against the visiting Knicks.  A better outcome than the last meeting in Madison Square Garden where the Knicks won in overtime.  In that outing, Porzingis had 37 points but today the Lakers hold him to 17.

The Lakers stand-outs today are Julius Randle with another double double (27 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and shooting an outstanding 65%), and Jordan Clarkson with his own double double (28 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds and shooting 63% from the field).  Way to go, Jordan … 10 assists will get it done!  Several other Laker players were key in the victory  . . .  Nance with his constant energy and intensity  (13 points and 5 rebounds), Kuzma (who scored 15 points in just over 10 minutes before taking a seat after re-injuring his finger) and Lopez who put in 4 of 6 three-point shots! (welcome back, Brook, where you been?)

It was definitely a team win today.  BI played but was not his usual self as he is still recovering from his ankle injury, but the other players stepped it up and came up with the victory, again minus Lonzo Ball.

I can’t talk about today’s win without mentioning Alex Caruso.  He was very  pivotal in today’s success,  playing with pace and passing the ball (he had 8 assists).  His experience with the South Bay Lakers is showing as he looks comfortable and in charge on the floor.  Coach Walton, we want to see more of this young man!!!!

Lakers @ Cleveland – Calderon’s 3’s Cost Us the Game?

Another entertaining road game (although another loss) from the Lakers who lost 121 to 112.  There were times in the game where the veteran Cavaliers looked fatigued as the young Lakers flew from one end of the court to the other in a flash, so much fun to watch.  The Lakers owned the paint, scoring at the basket mostly from their fast breaks, and out-rebounding the Cavs by 10 (49 to 39).  The Lakers had 16 offensive rebounds which helped keep them within reach of a victory until late in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Ingram looked like the player we are getting accustomed to see (thankfully no similarity to his poor MSG performance).  My favorite BI moment was his beautiful three-point shot just before the buzzer announced half time.  He is becoming the Lakers’ closer!!  My personal vote for Laker player of the game is Josh Hart.  In his first start as a pro, Hart scored a double double (11 points, 10 rebounds) and played solid defense like a veteran.  He played strong and self assured as he guarded the likes of Lebron with skill and determination and even had a breakaway dunk with Lebron on his heels.  Lonzo Ball was active and led the  hurry up pace that is becoming the Lakers’ exciting signature style.  He was close to a triple double but needed 2 more rebounds to achieve that goal last night. I’m not going to talk about the problems Brook Lopez had on the court last night, but two consecutive air-ball free throws?  Yikes!!

I  don’t believe that the Lakers’ poor three-point shooting (9 of 31 or 29%) necessarily cost them the game; or their 18 turnovers (6 by Zo!), or Lebron scoring another triple double with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.  Want to know how we could have avoided this loss?  Guard Jose Calderon.  He shot 5 of 8 from behind the three-point line and was able to shoot comfortably in rhythm with no Laker player in the same zip code as him!  I would think the Lakers coaching staff would have told the players not to leave Calderon open as he is shooting 51% from three this season (way up from his career 41%) although it didn’t appear so from the results.  It’s okay to leave Jae Crowder open but not Calderon!!!  Do you think this is far fetched?

Next up, Golden State, then the Rockets, then Golden State again.  Can the Lakers maintain their drive and “positivity” with this upcoming grueling schedule?  I hope so!

Monday I will be at Staples Center to cheer for Kobe as both his numbers are retired with what will certainly be an exciting half-time show and to watch the rematch against the amazing current world champs.  You can read about it here on my blog next Tuesday.  Go Kobe! Go Lakers!