Here’s what we learned from the Lakers’ 93-81 win Thursday night against the San Antonio Spurs:
Brandon Ingram can take over
The Lakers second-year forward had one of the best games of his career Thursday, scoring 26 points on 21 shot attempts, as he was clearly the most aggressive Laker. Ingram can be a matchup problem because of his length, and he’s a crafty scorer near the basket.
His mid-range jumper is being taken with confidence, and as he gets stronger, he should do an even better job of getting to the free-throw line.
After games like Thursday’s, it’s easy to see why the Lakers have Ingram as one of their “untouchables” in the upcoming trade season.
Larry Nance Jr. is playing really well
For the third straight game, Nance scored in double figures — but his impact was much greater. He protected the rim while the Lakers went smaller and more athletic in the fourth quarter, and he was active in transition.
As the Lakers try to get better defense out of their second unit, Nance will continue to play a major role in the team’s success. He’ll always be smaller than the players he’s asked to guard, but he has good energy.
Oh, and the lob he caught in the second half Thursday is worth a Google check.
Lonzo Ball is playing with confidence
If the prized rookie’s slow start to the season has hurt his confidence, it hasn’t shown up in the last four games — in which he’s attempted a total of 30 three-point shots. Thursday was an efficient night, with Ball hitting four of seven from deep.
He was a factor on the boards, and although he forced a couple of passes, the Lakers play with a better energy when he’s running the offense. It also matters on defense, where his flaws are partly masked by his enthusiasm.
Time to move on
Thursday’s victory provides the Lakers with a challenge they haven’t had to deal with much this season. They won’t have a lot of time to celebrate the big win as they start a three-game road trip in Dallas on Saturday.
All three games are winnable — with Dallas and Memphis both struggling.
The Lakers haven’t won more than three in a row this season, and it’s realistic to think that streak could possibly run to five if they’re able play with the same intensity they showed Thursday.