first_img Lonzo Ball helping key Lakers’ surprising defensive resurgence The former No. 2 overall pick finished with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and filled out the box score with 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Lakers blow out Pistons behind balanced scoring, sizzling shooting LOS ANGELES — The burden of expectation has never drifted far from Brandon Ingram. Even Lonzo Ball has been presented as a complement to Ingram’s eventual stardom, rather than a standalone replacement.Imagine Ingram’s mind as a blizzard of prognostications: emerge as a go-to scorer, take big strides defensively, show flashes of an All-Star in the making.On Tuesday, perhaps for the first time this season, Brandon Ingram accomplished all of those things in one game. All he had to do was not worry about doing them.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“I think I had a clear head,” Ingram said. “I was confident, I knew I had no self doubt in what I was doing. Everything was in flow.”After a 113-93 win over Detroit at Staples Center, Ingram said he didn’t think about how many shots he took. Or if could score 25 points.“It’s what I loved about him when I watched him play in college,” Coach Luke Walton said. “It was what he was doing at the end of last year, just playing, making the appropriate read. … When he plays like that, he gives other guys a round of confidence.”Lonzo Ball said it is “like night and day” when Ingram is able to focus.“When he plays like this we’re going to be hard to beat,” Ball said. “He’s only 20, that’s the scary thing. We’ve got a long way to go, but tonight was a great game for him.”center_img It was another encouraging defensive performance for the Lakers, who play in Portland on Thursday, and Ingram was at the heart of it. He has logged eight steals over his last two games, after recording just two over the first five.“Hopefully something clicked for him on that part of the game,” Walton said.Ingram’s six assists were also a season high, and better than all but two games in his rookie season.“Of course, I’m human, everyone wants to score the basketball,” Ingram said. “To win these games I have to be locked in, I have to help my teammates be locked in, I have to have their back.”Against the Pistons, Ingram said, “We didn’t care who shot the ball as long as it went into the hole.”The victory was the Lakers’ most complete performance, leading Walton to say that his message in Portland will be pretty simple.“My pregame speech for next game is just going to be go out and do what you did last game,” he said.STAY IN YO LANEEven before scoring another 62 points in the paint on Tuesday, the Lakers were already leading the league in that department.Their 55.1 points in the paint ranked No. 1 in the NBA, and Walton said there’s a good reason for that.“Have you seen our 3-point shooting,” Walton joked. “Let’s get to the paint, let’s not settle for 3s.”Of course, on Tuesday, they enjoyed the best of both worlds. The Lakers had their best night from beyond the arc, as well. Making 12 of 26 3-point attempts. But Walton knows the Lakers don’t have the personnel to do that on a nightly basis, so while the rest of the league zigs, he wants his team to zag.“In a modern NBA where everyone runs to the 3-point line,” Walton said, “we want to put pressure at the rim.”It’s been a constant theme throughout the first month of the season.“We want to run to the rim,” he said. “We don’t want to run to the 3-point line. It’s something we’ve been focusing on. It’s just part of the mentality and identity that we want to create.”KUZ SHOESNo one shot the ball better from deep on Tuesday than Kyle Kuzma, who made all four of his attempts from deep. Footwear mogul Lonzo Ball said it could be attributed to Kuzma’s shoes, a custom pair of Kobe A.D.’s  that said “Kuzzz!” across the toe.“Those shoes he had,” Ball said, “I told him it was a good game, so wear those.” Brandon Ingram says he’s ready to become Lakers’ next great closer Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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