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Kuzma Scores 20 at Rising Stars Challenge
Defense was practically nonexistent and both Lakers played minimal minutes on the heels of a back-to-back, but Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram gave their hometown fans something to cheer about.
The Lakers duo combined for 28 points in 31 minutes at the 2018 Rising Stars Challenge, though their USA Team fell to the World Team at Staples Center, 155-124.
The Lakers had played in Minneapolis the previous night and in Dallas the night before that. As such, Kuzma played 19 minutes while Ingram was on the floor for just 12.
For comparison, Ingram himself played more minutes the day before (34) than both Lakers did at the Rising Stars Challenge.
That didn’t stop Kuzma from pouring in buckets toward the end of the game. It all started with a spinning layup to beat the third-quarter buzzer.
Kuzma then put on a show for his hometown fans, scoring 11 points in the opening two minutes of the fourth quarter.
The 22-year-old threw down a couple dunks, sunk a 3-pointer, struck from mid-range and added a layup during this one-man stretch.
He finished the night with 20 points and seven rebounds.
Ingram played fewer minutes and had a quieter night.
But the sophomore was efficient with his looks, scoring his eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, including a pull-up jumper in the face of his lifelong friend, Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets.
Meanwhile, Lonzo Ball — also selected to the Challenge but out due to a sprained left MCL — watched his teammates from the bench.
"To have three Lakers in the Rising Stars Game in L.A. is pretty special, especially (for) our fans that came out," Kuzma said. "It sounded like we had a lot fo them today, so it was really cool."