Brandon Ingram showed why he can be an important piece for the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday when he helped the Lakers win 111-106 over the Houston Rockets.
Ingram helped the Lakers take control of the game during the fourth quarter, as he scored six points in the quarter; all of the points came within the game’s last five minutes. He finished the game with 27 points and shot 50 percent from the field. Ingram also grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds.
The Lakers were down by 19 points in the third quarter, and they regained the lead with 4:15 left in the game after LeBron James made a free throw to put them up 98-97.
James led the way in scoring for the Lakers with 29 points, but Ingram was a key part of the win. He helped handle the ball in the halfcourt alongside James, and the two controlled the team’s offense well.
Ingram being a budding playmaker is a bright spot for the Lakers. As Los Angeles works to get into the playoffs, Ingram being a secondary ballhandler and playmaker can add another dimension to the Lakers’ offense. Ingram isn’t an elite scorer, but he plays well when he has space to get into the lane and create for himself or his teammates.
He shot a game-high 14 free throws against the Rockets, and he made 11 of them. With Ingram attacking the rim well, that can be an area where he can thrive, even when Lonzo Ball comes back from an ankle injury he suffered in January. Ball is a better playmaker than Ingram, but he doesn’t average enough points to take buckets away from him.
James is the No. 1 option, and Kyle Kuzma has been the Lakers’ second-leading scorer this season. Ingram has been the third, though, and the Lakers will need him to have more games like this one in order to make the playoffs.