5 in a row!!!!

That was awesome. I had made peace mid-way through the 4th that we’d settle for a loss on the road. We were down double-digits, legs looked tired, no Brandon Ingram to execute in the half-court. Step into the spotlight, Lonzo Ball. Step into the spotlight, Travis Wear. Those guys hit some huge shots, played solid defense and just never quit. This was a win that had a lot of heart, grit and all sorts of tenacity.

Julius Randle followed up his last 25 point outing with another 25 point outing. Tossed in 6 boards, 3 assists a steal and a block to boot. Best of all he was 9-11 from the stripe..Julius was strong throughout and, in his own way, stepped into the void left by the injured Brandon Ingram. Julius is on the ‘untouchable’ list, now. If he’s not it’s a crime.

KCP certainly plays hard. While I cringe every time he attempts to make a play with the ball besides shooting an open shot, his effort on defense and the glass in general, has been palpable and contagious. KCP played a team-high 43 minutes and he made every one of those minutes matter. His steal to seal the win was sick, amazing anticipation.

Travis Wear led the team in +/- and while that can often be misleading, Travis didn’t wilt under the pressure of the moment. He was 3-6 overall and only 1-4 from 3. But he took those open shots the offense created and that in of itself is always a net positive. He let it fly and when it went in it helped. He also played some solid defense and grabbed a couple of boards. Travis was one of the summer league cadre that played really well in Vegas, it was nice to see him contribute in the NBA, again.

Game ball has to go to Lonzo Ball. He played his great defense, he snagged 7 rebounds and he dished out 11 big assists. In a game where our energy lagged for 3/4 of the contest buckets, Lonzo relentlessly found the open man and he encouraged them to shoot those shots. He and Isiah Thomas combined for 18 assists (the team had 26 total) and both players hit big shots or free throws down the stretch to pull this one out. Lonzo wanted that last three ball, measured it after he crossed half court, and drilled it. IT had a few too many turnovers (5) but I’ll definitely chalk some of that up to a lack of familiarity.

Best road trip since 2009. Luke has these guys playing with confidence late in the season after a losing streak that could have easily sunk them. It didn’t. The static from the outside world has faded as these Lakers show they are for real. 6 games under .500 with 20 games left and these guys showing they can ball with anyone. While I still think they’re the darkest of dark horses to challenge for the 8 seed, if they get close to .500 for the season will be a huge step forward for this young team.

Go Lakers.