Post Up: Lonzo Ball Breaks Out as Lakers Earn First Win

Lonzo Ball flirted with a triple-double to bounce back perfectly from a rough NBA debut on Thursday.
by October 21, 2017

Lakers 132 (1-1), Suns 130 (0-2)

A lot was made of Lonzo Ball’s three-point opening night performance on Thursday.

But Ball silenced the doubters, at least for a night, by flirting with a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.

Ball was the catalyst on a night that the Lakers looked much better overall, especially with plays like this (note the assist goes to the rookie out of UCLA):

The Lakers trailed by three at the half, but came out of the locker room to quickly take the lead thanks to a couple baskets from Brandon Ingram. He finished with 25 for LA, while Eric Bledsoe led Phoenix with a game-high 28 points.

Cavaliers 116 (2-0), Bucks 97 (1-1) 

Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his stellar start to the season (34 points, eight rebounds, eight assists), but LeBron and company pulled away in the second half as the Cavs earned their second win.

Kyle Korver provided some firepower off the bench, scoring 17 points on 5-6 shooting from three for Cleveland. Three of those came in the third quarter as Cleveland extended its lead.

LeBron had 24 on 10-16 shooting, while Kevin Love had a double-double with 17 and 12.

Timberwolves 100 (1-1), Jazz 97 (1-1)

The Timberwolves got the best of Ricky Rubio and the Jazz in Rubio’s return to Minnesota.

Rubio did have 19 points, 10 assists, and a rousing ovation from the crowd, but it was Jamal Crawford’s three with 28 seconds left that lifted Minnesota to victory. Crawford’s shot put the Timberwolves ahead 98-96, with a few free throws the rest of the way providing the final margin.

Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with 21 points, three of them coming like this, to end the first half.

Hornets 109 (1-1), Hawks 91 (1-1) 

Charlotte outscored Atlanta 35-17 in the third quarter, turning a tie game at halftime into a comfortable first win of the season. Kemba Walker (26 points, nine assists) was great again, while Dwight Howard and Frank Kaminsky added 21 and 20 respectively.

Howard also had an interesting encounter with an official after committing a foul:

As for the Hawks, Dennis Schroder had 25 as 13 players saw at least three minutes.

Trail Blazers 114 (2-0), Pacers 96 (1-1)

Portland improved to 2-0 with the road win behind 28 points from CJ McCollum and a strong performance from Al-Farouq Aminu.

Aminu had a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds, helping the Blazers methodically build a lead that they held much of the night.

It may have been a loss for Indiana, but Pacers fans can take solace in getting to see this dunk from Victor Oladipo, in which he elevated roughly 35 feet in the air.


Celtics 102 (1-2), 76ers 92 (0-2) 

In a tie game with just over seven minutes to go and staring at a potential 0-3 start, the Celtics finished the game on an 18-8 run to escape Philadelphia with a win. Kyrie Irving (21 points) scored seven in that stretch.

JJ Redick led the way for Philadelphia with 19 points while the younger core of the team struggled offensively. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz combined to shoot just 10-36 (27.7 percent), though Simmons and Embiid both had double-digit rebounds. 

Wizards 115 (2-0), Pistons 111 (1-1) 

John Wall blocked Reggie Jackson’s attempt in the final minute that would have tied the game, allowing the Wizards to hold off a Pistons rally late. Wall also scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half to go with his 10 assists.

Jackson had 21 to lead Detroit, while Andre Drummond added nine points and 12 rebounds inside.

You can count on Wall to provide at least one play a night that you’ll want to watch on a loop. Here was tonight’s:

Nets 126 (1-1), Magic 121 (1-1)

Nikola Vucevic’s second consecutive great game wasn’t enough for the Magic to escape Brooklyn with a win. Vucevic had 41 points on 17-22 shooting from the field and 6-8 shooting from three, along with 12 rebounds.

Brooklyn countered with a balanced attack that included six players in double figures.

The Nets held a slim lead for most of the fourth quarter, and nearly gave it away when Terrence Ross pulled the Magic to within one on a three with 14 seconds to go.  Evan Fournier, however, missed a three of his own on the ensuing possession, giving the Nets their first victory of the year.

Kings 93 (1-1), Mavericks 88 (0-2) 

Fresh off a statement regular season debut, Dennis Smith Jr. was a late scratch for the Mavericks with a knee injury.

The Dallas rookie had 16 points and 10 assists in his first game and the injury is not believed to be serious, according to coach Rick Carlisle. Still, there’s some cause for concern as it is the same knee that Smith Jr. had surgically repaired two years ago.

George Hill had 21 to lead the Kings, while rookie De’Aaron Fox came off the bench to contribute nine points and 10 assists.

Warriors 128 (1-1), Pelicans 120 (0-2) 

The defending champs earned their first win of the season behind 33 points from Klay Thompson and 28 from Steph Curry.

The Pelicans, led by 35 each from Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, were up 13 after a quarter, thanks to a 10-0 run capped in dramatic fashion by Davis.

The Warriors trailed by as many as 17, but came back, scoring 11 of the final 13 points of the first half to pull within three at the break. Thompson went 7-11 from three overall, and his triple to start the third quarter completed the comeback and pulled Golden State even.