Already without Lonzo Ball for a third consecutive game, the Los Angeles Lakers announced roughly one hour prior to tip-off against the L.A. Clippers that Tyler Ennis was unavailable due to flu-like symptoms.
The domino effect included moving Jordan Clarkson back to the bench in his sixth man role, and the Lakers going to a bigger backcourt with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Josh Hart. In turn, it pushed Brandon Ingram into more of a point guard role.
Ingram has previously filled that capacity, but his running the offense on Friday was his most extensive time doing so thus far. While there were several factors at play, the Lakers struggled.
“Have to give guys the ball. I was less aggressive in that first half, where I was getting guys involved,” Ingram said following the team’s fifth consecutive loss.
The Clippers opened the game on a 9-0 run, and held leads of 19-3 and 24-7 in the first quarter. The Lakers missed nine of their first 10 shots, and Ingram started 0-for-4 before putting in his first basket.
“I tried sometimes to go one-on-one, and I don’t think that was effective at all. I tried to be better in the second half,” Ingram said. “But like I said, I can’t have a first half like that where I don’t have my teammates’ back, and not going to the basket and not trying to make plays for myself.”
Ingram finished with 18 points on 8-of-20 shooting, to go along with just one rebound and three assists. He did not make mention of the injury, but Ingram is playing through quad injuries that required him to miss two games.
The Lakers figure to be without Ball for at least their next two games, as the rookie point guard is not joining the team on the road trip. Los Angeles has lost each of the games Ball has been sidelined for, setting a season low with 14 assists in one of the contests.
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