The Los Angeles Lakers secured a huge win on Thursday night against their most hated rivals. On top of that, it brought them back to an above-.500 record with the hope that it will turn their season around and get them into the playoffs.
The 129-128 win was an offensive showcase by both teams, especially the Lakers who hit a franchise-record 22 3-pointers in the game. But it was defense from one specific player on the Lakers that was the talk of the Celtics after the matchup:
Kyrie: "Being guarded by Brandon Ingram most of the game, I can’t even lie to you guys, those guys on the defensive end are unusual. Driving lanes that I see against every other team, they were closing down the lane."
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) February 8, 2019
Brandon Ingram struggled offensively for much of the game, hitting just four of his 14 shot attempts and scoring only 11 points, albeit with seven assists.
Defensively, however, he was a consistent pest on Kyrie Irving. The All-Star point guard finished the game with 24 points but made only six of his 21 field goal attempts and turned the ball over three times. According to NBA.com, Ingram guarded Irving for 35 possessions, during which he scored 14 points on 3-of-9 shooting.
What was most promising about Ingram’s game was that despite his poor shooting night, he was able to make an impact in various aspects of the game. That’s something that could not always be said about the third-year forward even earlier this year. It turns out that stars are also taking notice.