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Brandon Ingram's New Year's resolution is to return with fresh legs, but Lakers hope to have him back sooner

Brandon Ingram's New Year's resolution is to return with fresh legs, but Lakers hope to have him back sooner
Brandon Ingram seems to be fully recovered from the leg injuries that kept him out of the Lakers' past two games. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Brandon Ingram smiled and shook his head at the thought of missing any more time with the injuries he suffered last week.

“No, I can’t sit anymore,” Ingram said.

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If his legs feel on Wednesday like they did during Tuesday’s practice, he won’t have to. Ingram participated fully in practice, his first action since Friday, and “looked really good,” Coach Luke Walton said.

“I almost silly-fined him for looking so good today for not playing last night,” Walton said, “but he was running around the court.”

Said Ingram: “I feel great. I feel fine. We ran through a few things today, where we could go through a few plays, get some shots up and I felt fine.”

Ingram sat out Saturday’s game against Portland and Monday’s against Minnesota after he injured both of his quadriceps last week during the Lakers’ two-game trip to Houston and Golden State.

Ingram said he will participate in shootaround before Wednesday’s game against Memphis and see how his legs feel. Having been injured so rarely, this is new for the 20-year-old.

“I just try to listen to my body, I try to listen to my trainers and see what they have for me and just go through it,” he said.

Because of that, his New Year’s resolution is more like a wish.

“Some fresh legs,” Ingram said. “Thinking November was a really, really, really good month for me. And I just want to try to get back to that speed of the game, and just be more effective.”

Where’s the merch?

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For Christmas, Andrew Bogut gifted Lonzo Ball with a personalized “Kuzmania” t-shirt created and signed by Kyle Kuzma.

Walton got no such gift. He’s got no “Kuzmania” t-shirt or Big Baller Brand gear.

“I don’t know if my players don’t like me but they all have their own companies and I don’t have any,” Walton said. “ I mean I like Nike, I’ve always been a Nike guy, I’m happy with Nike. But they don’t give me any of it. I was hoping for some gift bags from the players for Christmas but I didn’t get any. Still waiting.”

Big minutes for young guys

Heading into the season, Walton’s plan was to play Kuzma and Ball around 30 minutes per game.

It hasn’t exactly worked out that way. Ball has played 35 minutes or more in 18 games, and more than 40 minutes once. Kuzma has averaged nearly 40 minutes in the past five games.

“I would love to,” Walton said when asked if he wants to reduce their minutes.

“We’re trying to play a certain way and win these games,” Walton said. “If Kuzma looks healthy, then it’s tough to get him out of there. It really is the way he’s playing. It’s hard to get him off the floor. I would like to ideally play him less than he’s playing right now as a rookie, just to keep him healthy throughout the whole season.”

Etc.

Ball did not practice Tuesday, instead receiving treatment for his sprained left shoulder. The Lakers expect to re-evaluate Ball over the weekend and he is listed as out for Wednesday’s game. … Brook Lopez still has a ways to go in his recovery from a right ankle sprain, but he was able to remove the protective boot from his foot. … With 31 points Monday, Kuzma became the seventh Laker to score 30 or more points on Christmas. The other six: Kobe Bryant (five times), Shaquille O’Neal (twice), James Worthy, Michael Cooper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West (three times).

LAKERS TONIGHT

VS. MEMPHIS

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

On Air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330

Update: Memphis played in Phoenix on Tuesday night. Heading into that game, the Grizzlies had the second worst record in the Western Conference at 10-23.

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