Asked about the play,
In the second quarter Tuesday night against Sacramento, on one of the
"It's just how I play," Ball said. "Kind of wild. Kind of free. I'm glad he made it. I saw
Ball finished with only one turnover and had 11 of the Lakers' 30 assists. Just as easily, though, that play could have turned into a missed opportunity for the Lakers.
It was ugly outside Staples Center and ugly inside too. On a rainy evening, the Lakers beat the
"We gave an effort tonight that was awesome but we have got to get better at the mental part of the game," Walton said. "We've been struggling, we will take a win when we can get it, but it doesn't feel the same way [as] when you play the game the right way throughout."
Randle led the Lakers with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Ball scored just five points on two-of-10 shooting but became the third player this season to have at least 10 assists, 10 rebounds and five steals — the other two are
"He creates our pace for us, he makes winning plays for us," Walton said of Ball. "He gets other people easy shots. He impacted the game on both ends of the floor and was a big part of why we won tonight. Eleven assists and only one turnover."
The Lakers seemed to blow open the game early, using a 21-2 run in the first quarter to take a 26-8 lead. But as Walton began subbing out his starters, the Lakers' lead began to dwindle. With 4:30 left in the quarter, he removed Lopez and Randle, with the rest of the starters following soon after. The Kings reduced that 18-point lead to four by the end of the quarter, and it slipped away for the next quarter and a half.
The Lakers trailed 64-56 in the third after ageless wonder Vince Carter hit a three.
But the Lakers had another run in them. Lopez got hot and made back-to-back threes to start a 26-5 run that gave the Lakers control. He hit a third three-pointer moments later, then shook his hand as if it was too hot.
Their 10-point lead after three quarters seemed tenuous, and the Lakers didn't make things easy for themselves in the fourth. L.A. committed 11 turnovers in the quarter, but they resulted in only four Kings points.
The final turnover came as the game closed. Leading by 13 with one-tenth of a second remaining, Kyle Kuzma dribbled until the shot clock expired. As he did so, the crowd in the not-quite-full arena stood and cheered.
Lakers wins aren't easy to come by; they'll take that one, too.