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Lakers

Brandon Ingram gave Lakers a pleasant surprise in his return

While the Lakers were on a road trip without him, Brandon Ingram stayed home and watched them play. Occasionally he and Lakers coach Luke Walton would chat about what he saw. Walton would tell him to watch how the ball was moving and Ingram would joke that he intended to stay out longer than planned.

The third-year wing was paying attention and taking notes about how he could fit back in seamlessly when he returned to play.

In his first game back since spraining his left ankle during a game Dec. 5, Ingram showed what he learned Friday.

“That’s something that they’ve done over this road trip and even before they left when I was out,” Ingram said of the way the Lakers moved the ball. “I just tried to continue it, I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, try to go one on one or anything. I attacked when I could but just tried to move the basketball, get the best shot for our team.”

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Ingram missed seven games because of his sprained ankle and spent a day training with the South Bay Lakers as he made his way back to the court. Against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, Ingram scored 18 points and had a plus/minus rating of 16. He also contributed seven assists.

“Brandon made winning plays all game long, whether it was setting a flare screen for Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] at the top of the key for a three in the fourth, or that rebound where he jumped up over three people, making the extra pass,” Walton said. “I thought he did a really nice job of watching what the team has been doing while he’s been hurt, and then coming in and playing that same way.”

In The Shop with James and Gurley

Rams running back Todd Gurley was a guest on the latest episode of “The Shop,” a show for which LeBron James is a co-star and a co-executive producer. Among the topics they discussed was that of the difference between the NBA and the NFL in terms of players’ comfort in speaking their minds about social issues.

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Gurley was asked why NFL player protests during the national anthem have waned.

“People definitely are afraid,” Gurley said. “Not afraid but … it’s a touchy subject. Some guys feel some type of way, some guys don’t. And some guys honestly could give a [expletive] about how somebody else feels but you don’t want to be that type of teammate or that type of guy as well.”

Maverick Carter, another one of the show’s co-executive producers and co-stars, asked about owners’ roles in that.

“Control,” James said.

“And money?” Carter asked

James felt that control was more important than money.

“In the NFL they got a bunch of old, white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality,” James said. “This is my team, you do what the [expletive] I tell ya’ll to do or we get rid of y’all. I’m so appreciative in our league of our commissioner [Adam Silver]. He doesn’t mind us having the feeling — to be able to actually have a real feeling to be able to express that. It doesn’t even matter if Adam agrees with what we’re saying, he at least hears us out.”

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VS MEMPHIS

When: 6:30 p.m., Sunday

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

Update: The last time the Lakers played the Grizzlies, Memphis was among the top teams in the Western Conference standings. They come into Sunday’s game on a five-game losing streak.

tania.ganguli@latimes.com

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli


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