Lonzo Ball records second career triple-double as Lakers roll past Denver
By Bill Oram
LOS ANGELES – The offense was operating as it s designed, with multiple passes and most baskets coming with an assist. Turnovers dipped. The power to shoot 3-pointers was wielded responsibly. The result: efficiency and victory.
And at the middle of the Lakers offensive resurrection in a 127-109 win over Denver was Lonzo Ball.
After becoming the youngest player to record a triple-double eight nights earlier in Milwaukee, Ball on Sunday put on a similar show for his home fans, finishing with 11 points, 11 assists and 16 rebounds – the most by a rookie this season.
His 10th assist came with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter, when he swung the ball to the Julius Randle for a top-of-the-key 3-pointer. With that basket, Ball became the only Lakers rookie other than Magic Johnson to record multiple triple-doubles.
The Lakers shot 53 percent from the field and had committed just 11 turnovers through three quarters, before the game devolved into a sloppy blowout. They were 12-of-32 from beyond the 3-point line, a nether-region from which they had made a league-worst 28.7 percent of their shots this season.
The Lakers entered the night with the NBA’s third-worst offense, averaging 97.7 points per 100 possessions. Against the Nuggets, they had scored 70 points at halftime and assisted on 20 of their 29 field goals.
Randle led the Lakers with a season-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists. There were plenty of points to go around with seven players, included all five starters, reaching double figures. Brook Lopez scored 21, Kyle Kuzma added 17, and Jordan Clarkson chipped in 16.
The Lakers, who have been among the league’s best around the basket, scored a whopping 70 points in the paint, compared to just 44 by the Nuggets.
Gary Harris scored 20 points to lead the Nuggets, who […]