In their first game since the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers showed some rust to start the game against the Indiana Pacers. It also didn’t help that Malcolm Brogdon decided to play out of his damn mind. The Lakers were also dealt a blow when Alex Caruso left the game due to a head contusion. Caruso’s head hit the ground hard as he made a crucial play to tip the ball to Kyle Kuzma for the triple.
The Pacers were in control for most of the game, but Brogdon cooled off in the second half. The former Rookie of the Year finished with 29 points, but only had six in the second half. The Lakers capitalized in the fourth quarter and were able to sneak away with the victory. LeBron James had a quiet 18 and 10, playing only 34 minutes.
While it wasn’t pretty, the Lakers will take it. Not only do they beat a good Indiana team, but they end a two-game losing streak.
Player of the game – Kyle Kuzma
Kuzma led the way tonight with a monster stat line off the bench. Kuz finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, hitting three of his six triples. He saved his best for last, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter. Kuzma has been playing really well as of late, especially on the glass. With the absence of Davis, Kuzma has done a good job of being a spark off the bench and dominating the boards.
Stat of the game – 34 to 21
The Lakers outscored the Pacers 34-21 in the final quarter at Staples Center and escaped with the win. They needed a big fourth-quarter performance to get back into the game. For a moment in the third quarter, it looked like the Pacers were going to run away with it. Kuzma was the spark the Lakers needed to get back into the game and eventually take the lead.
Quote of the night – “I was pretty much eye f****** him to pass me the ball.”
Thanks to Kuzma, the Lakers won this game. Part of the reason that makes him so valuable is his confidence in himself, which is evident with his words after the game. The Utah Ute wants the ball in his hands and according to Dan Woike of the LA Times, Kuzma was making it very obvious that he wanted the rock.
“I was pretty much eye fucking him to pass me the ball.” Kyle Kuzma with a quote of the year candidate, when asked about a swing pass LeBron James threw to him in the corner in the 4th quarter.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 13, 2021
Kuzma made it very easy to pick a quote tonight with his eye joke which we had to censor for all you young kids out there. Big win tonight for the Lakers, it seems like LeBron owes Kuzma a nice bottle of wine.
The Lakers take their hard-earned victory up North to take on the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have been struggling as of late, which means the Lakers can string multiple victories together to start the second half of the season.