Without three of their starters (Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram or Brook Lopez), the Los Angeles Lakers struggled as a team to keep up against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Christmas Day. Individually though, Kyle Kuzma finished with an impressive 31-point performance, the most points by a rookie on Christmas since LeBron James, making him just the second rookie in the last 50 years to drop 30 points on December 25th.
“Of course its cool,” Kuzma said. “But, at the same time, I expect to do all of this. I work hard, I feel like I should be doing all of this, so it’s not like a surprising type feel, but it’s definitely cool to reach milestones and whatnot.”
Head coach Luke Walton once again pointed to Kuzma’s ‘competitive spirit,’ a phrase he has frequently used to describe the Lakers 27th draft pick. Walton says he’s really not surprised with what Kuzma is continually able to show on the floor.
Josh Hart had another solid performance in the starting lineup, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds and two assists. Hart talks after the game about how spending four years at Villanova has really helped prepare him to step up when opportunities present themselves.
Jordan Clarkson was also inserted into the starting group, scoring 17 points, seven assists, and six rebounds to go along with four steals. Despite the Lakers record, Clarkson explains why he still believes this years team is better than last years team.
Julius Randle finished with a solid 16 points (7-10) with seven rebounds in just under 19 minutes of playing time. Randle talks about what Walton’s message was to the team after their sixth loss in seven games.
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