Moe Wagner reacts to a play against the Golden State Warriors on July 5, 2018.
(Rohan Ali/Lakers.com)

Moe Wagner Drops Double-Double in California Classic Finale

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

SACRAMENTO — Moe Wagner collected his first double-double in purple and gold, scoring 13 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. But for him, summer league is all about the defensive end.

Honestly, (defense) is what I’m trying to establish here at this time,” Wagner said after the Lakers’ 77-71 loss to Golden State. “Just feel more comfortable defensively, be solid there. All the rest I’m not really worried about.”

Wagner filled the stat sheet on that end as well, swatting four shots on the afternoon.

While it was a nice defensive showing for Wagner’s Lakers — who held the Warriors to 37.5 percent shooting — summer league coach Miles Simon acknowledged that there’s much progress to be made by his rookie big man.

He had a handful of errors — five fouls and four turnovers — but the biggest focus is on getting him acclimated within the Lakers’ defensive schemes.

“We’re showing him a lot of film, and it’s such a big learning curve for him on our coverages and the help-side (defense) and the nuances of the defensive end of the floor,” Simon said. “But his effort is always there. He’s really vocal and talking, which we love.”

The Lakers also love the way that Wagner can shoot the ball, which he showed off against Golden State by hitting 5-of-10 from the field, including a couple of pick-and-pop 3-pointers.

Since Josh Hart rested for the upcoming Las Vegas Summer League, Wagner assumed a bigger role in the offense. With a bit more of a green light, he even cashed a baseline fadeaway from just outside the paint.

“I’ve always had that,” Wagner said. “It’s just not one of the most efficient shots, so I haven’t really done it in the past. At Michigan, we played very, very efficient basketball, so that wasn’t always an option. Summer league, part of it is trying out yourself and doing new things.”

Notes
The Lakers committed 23 turnovers, as they finished the California Classic with an 0-3 record. … Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 14 points and eight assists. … Svi Mykhailiuk scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting. … Alex Caruso had seven points and three assists, while committing eight turnovers and shooting 2-of-6. … Marcus Derrickson led the Warriors with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Get Moe the rock! #LakersSummer

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