Kyle Kuzma scored a career-best 41 factors because the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday evening, and mentioned he was excited to see a possible Lakers “dying lineup” within the playoffs.
The 23-year-old shot 16-of-24 from the ground, together with 5-of-10 from past the arc because the Lakers received 113-100 on residence courtroom.
Learn extra: Kevin Durant ‘has no clue’ the place New York Knicks rumors got here from
Within the third quarter alone, the second-year guard scored 22 factors after hitting 4 three-pointers and placing collectively two scoring runs of 10 and 6 factors, respectively.
The Lakers rode Kuzma’s sizzling hand and opened up a 12-point lead by the tip of the third quarter, which the Pistons failed to beat as they by no means even obtained the hole right down to single digit within the ultimate interval.
Kuzma’s scoring spree saw him join an elite list of players who have scored more than 40 points in three quarters this season.
Along with Kuzma’s teammate LeBron James, Golden State Warriors duo Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and reigning MVP James Harden are the only other players to have managed the feat this season.
With LeBron still out with a groin injury, the Lakers bench performed an essential position in supporting Kuzma, with three gamers scoring a mixed 45 factors.
For the Pistons, Blake Griffin completed with 16 factors and 6 assists, an offensive contribution method off the career-high 25.Three factors he has been averaging this season. Andre Drummond was dominant at each ends of the courtroom with 17 rebounds however solely scored six factors.
The Lakers have gone 3-5 since LeBron obtained injured on Christmas Day towards the Warriors, however have now received the final two consecutive video games to enhance to 23-19 and strengthen their grip on the final playoff berth within the Western Convention standings.
Because of the nature of the convention this season, the 16-time NBA champions are nearer to being the fourth seed within the West than they’re to falling out of the playoff image altogether.
Kuzma believes as soon as LeBron is again to full health, the Lakers might discipline an intriguing “dying lineup” within the postseason. “I truthfully suppose our small-ball unit could be actually good,” he mentioned on Wednesday forward of the sport, as per ESPN.
“I believe we will have a ‘dying lineup’. Whether or not that’s [Rajon] Rondo and Lonzo [Ball] on the ground on the identical time, me and BI [Brandon Ingram] or LeBron […] As we get extra continuity that small-ball lineup goes to be large for us.”
The time period “dying lineup” first made its method into the NBA vocabulary when the Warriors didn’t discipline a conventional heart within the 2014-15 season, preferring as an alternative to deploy Curry, Thompson, Draymond Inexperienced, Andre Igoudala and Harrison Barnes.
The latter was then changed by Kevin Durant in the summertime of 2016, an instrumental improve that has performed a vital position within the Warriors profitable the final two NBA titles.