Eight minutes into the worst loss in franchise history, Lakers forward Brandon Ingram had already missed a reverse layup, airballed a three-pointer, thrown a bad pass for a turnover and had a short floating jumper swatted out of bounds by Mavericks reserve center Salah Mejri.
The rookie was just getting warmed up. Two days after playing perhaps his best game of the season — 15 points, seven rebounds, three steals and superb defense against Indiana on Friday night — Ingram delivered a dud on Sunday, scoring six points on two-for-12 shooting, committing five fouls and three turnovers.
“I thought he was a little out of it today,” Coach Luke Walton said. “It looked like his reactions were a little off. He wasn’t pushing the ball the way he had been. I love him being aggressive, but he seemed to be a little indecisive tonight, which hadn’t been the case lately.”
Walton said he wasn’t sure whether Ingram was thrown off by starting at point guard. The 6-foot-9 Ingram often plays point with the second unit, but not with the starters.
“I’ll look at the tape and talk to him,” Walton said. “If that’s the case, we’ll figure something out.”
Ingram said missing his first shot of the game affected him more than the position change.
“First basket for me, I could have converted a layup,” Ingram said. “After that, I didn’t get after it on the defensive end. I think it messed up my whole game a little bit.”
Ingram’s first shot of the second quarter, a driving layup attempt, was blocked by Dirk Nowitzki. Walton was furious that no foul was called. “Bill, are we watching same game?” Walton yelled at referee Bill Spooner. “He tried to foul him!” A minute later, Walton used almost all of a timeout to chew out Spooner.
In his first game since a monthlong absence because of a bone bruise in his left knee, Larry Nance Jr., played 10 minutes, making both of his shots — a one-hand runner in the key before halftime and a 20-foot jumper late in the third quarter — and blocking one shot.
“He’s one of the bright spots we had tonight,” Walton said. “He made plays on the defensive end, set screens and rolled, hit a nice little midrange jump shot. It was great to see him out there.”
Nance, who will be on a minutes restriction until he returns to full strength, said he felt no pain in his knee.
“I felt great when I came out,” Nance said. “Of course, they asked me how I felt. I felt great and wanted to keep going.”
Walton called D’Angelo Russell’s MRI test results and prognosis a “best-case scenario” after the point guard suffered a mild medial collateral ligament sprain of his right knee, a right-calf strain and a bone bruise Friday night. Russell is expected to be out for one to two weeks.
“You don’t want a player, especially your young point guard, to get hurt … but to me, that’s as good as we could get,” Walton said. “When I saw him go down, I was really worried. … He’s a dynamic player for us. He brings a lot to the table that we’re gonna miss.”
Forward Luol Deng returned to the lineup after missing two games because of a right-wrist sprain. He scored nine points on four-for-seven shooting and blocked two shots. … The D-Fenders of the NBA Development League will change their name the South Bay Lakers next season.