Winning Plays: Ingram, Ball and Nance Step Up Versus Spurs

<p >In the first two legs of the Lakers’ three-game win streak, the purple and gold dusted their opponents in transition, scoring 42 and 35 fast-break points.</p > <p >But, against the San Antonio Spurs’ second-ranked defense, they were held to a much slower pace, scoring only 12 points on the break.</p > <p >Nonetheless, the Lakers managed to turn one of their weaknesses, half-court scoring, into a strength in their 93-81 win.</p > <p >Brandon Ingram was the focal point of this, scoring 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting.</p > <p >What was most encouraging about the 20-year-old’s performance was his ability to score at all three levels, hitting five shots from mid-range, four attacking the rim and two 3-pointers.</p > <p >“He pretty much is the offense: We give him the ball and get out of the way,” Lonzo Ball said. “It’s going to be a bucket. He scores pretty easily. That’s his game.”</p > <p lang="en" dir="ltr" >Pump fake into the finger roll. Brandon Ingram was scoring from everywhere tonight. </p ><p >5 buckets off mid-range jumpers, 4 going to the basket and a pair of 3-pointers, all toward 26 points. <code data-tlink="https://t.co/s4oJoCEq5n&quot; >pic.twitter.com/s4oJoCEq5n&lt;/code ></p >— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) <code data-tlink="https://twitter.com/JoeyARamirez/status/951719392320020482?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" >January 12, 2018</code > <p >Knowing Ingram’s ability to attack the paint with his length, the Spurs dropped their defense back and gave him open looks at mid-range jumpers. He missed a handful of them, but largely made San Antonio pay, as he has shot 57.7 percent on pull-up J’s over his last 15 games.</p > “Just reading the defense, trying to be better off of instincts,” Ingram said. “Whether guys are far back or too close (so) I can drive around them, I’m just trying to read the defense and make the best play.” <p >And when he sensed a path to the cup, Ingram attacked. His scoring moves included a slick hesitation dribble, vicious rip-through and rainbow finger roll — all advanced coursework for a second-year pro.</p > <p >And while his assist total of three didn’t quite show it, Ingram also did a nice job creating opportunities for others, with a potential assist, hockey assist and free throw assist all in the first quarter.</p > <p lang="en" dir="ltr" >Some nice playmaking from Brandon Ingram that won't go down as assists.</p ><p >Wide-open 3-point look, hockey assist and free throw assist. <code data-tlink="https://t.co/UVIVJTJkYU&quot; >pic.twitter.com/UVIVJTJkYU&lt;/code ></p >— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) <code data-tlink="https://twitter.com/JoeyARamirez/status/951665496381825024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" >January 12, 2018</code > <p >But the chief distributor on the night was Lonzo Ball, who had 18 points and all six of his assists in the half court.</p > <p >The rookie point guard continues to make spectacular feeds part of his routine.</p > <p >For the second straight game, he set up for a jump shot to draw the defense before whipping the ball across the court to a teammate.</p > <p >On another play he looked like a second baseman catching the ball with one hand and immediately zipping it to an open shooter.</p > <p >That second play of Lonzo’s also showed why coach Luke Walton thought Larry Nance Jr. “might have been our most valuable player” against the Spurs.</p > <p >Nance fought hard on the defense end while also putting in work offensively with a double-double that included five offensive rebounds, which were key in the Lakers’ 12-2 advantage in second-chance points.</p > <p >The leaper used his superior athleticism, endurance and timing to earn the Lakers’ extra possessions that helped make the difference.</p > <p >On one particular play, he essentially tossed San Antonio’s point guard aside, giving the Lakers a lead they would never surrender.</p >

In the first two legs of the Lakers’ three-game win streak, the purple and gold dusted their opponents in transition, scoring 42 and 35 fast-break points.

But, against the San Antonio Spurs’ second-ranked defense, they were held to a much slower pace, scoring only 12 points on the break.

Nonetheless, the Lakers managed to turn one of their weaknesses, half-court scoring, into a strength in their 93-81 win.

Brandon Ingram was the focal point of this, scoring 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting.

What was most encouraging about the 20-year-old’s performance was his ability to score at all three levels, hitting five shots from mid-range, four attacking the rim and two 3-pointers.

“He pretty much is the offense: We give him the ball and get out of the way,” Lonzo Ball said. “It’s going to be a...

When the Spurs limited the Lakers to 12 fast-break points, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Larry Nance Jr. provided winning plays in the half-court to push their team to victory.

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