The Los Angeles Lakers (31-36) defeated the Denver Nuggets, 112-103, at Staples Center on Tuesday night despite another shaky offensive performance from Lonzo Ball.
The No. 2 overall pick, who was coming off of a five-point outing Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, went scoreless in the first half. He finished with five points on 2-of-11 shooting—including 1-of-7 from three-point range—nine rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks.
His lone three-point make put the Lakers up 90-89 with 7:40 remaining, and they didn’t trail from that point forward.
That shot was a cause for celebration.
On the whole, though, it’s hard to ignore Ball’s regression of late .
Although Lonzo drained a stellar 50 percent from three-point range during a six-game stretch from Feb. 23 to March 7, he’s 3-of-21 on those same looks over the past three games.
Ball has also been noticeably off at home, as Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell noted:
Luckily, the Lakers haven’t needed Lonzo to be firing on all cylinders to pick up wins as of late.
As was the case in Sunday’s triumph over the Cavaliers, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma and Isaiah Thomas led the charge. Randle and Kuzma finished with identical 26-point, 13-rebound lines, and IT poured in 23 points off the bench.
Thomas also provided the play of the game when he blew past Nuggets center Nikola Jokic en route to an uncontested layup in crunch time:
Ball didn’t offer much in the way of highlight-reel plays of his own.
However, he did finish a team-high plus-18 thanks to a strong defensive effort on a night when the Lakers scored 21 points off Nuggets turnovers.
The Purple and Gold will be back at it Wednesday night for a showdown against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The defending champions lead the season series 3-0, but all three games have been decided by seven points or less.