LeBron James, Lakers Beat Jazz After Donovan Mitchell Suffers Rib Injury

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket during the game against the Utah Jazz on November 23, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers survived a rock fight with the Utah Jazz and churned out a 90-83 win at Staples Center on Friday night.

LeBron James spearheaded the charge with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Brandon Ingram dropped a game-high 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting against a shorthanded Jazz side that was without Donovan Mitchell in the second half because of a rib contusion.

The Lakers (11-7) have now won three games in a row and nine of their last 11 overall dating back to Halloween.

     

Ingram Still Work in Progress Despite 24-Point Effort

The Ingram experience remains something of a roller coaster.

On the bright side, he entered Friday night with the best offensive rating (112.4) among all Lakers players with at least 100 minutes this season, according to NBA.com's lineup data, and his 24-point outing on just 14 shots was a pleasant surprise.

But based on the five-week sample we've seen since LeBron joined the fray, it's clear struggles are persisting across the board.

The third-year swingman has remained reluctant to let loose from beyond the arc, and he was attempting a meager 1.8 triples per game prior to Friday's tilt—a notch below the notoriously bashful Rajon Rondo.

Plus, Ingram still hasn't settled into a groove as a playmaker. The Duke product tied his season-high with six turnovers on Friday night, and he has now accumulated 33 giveaways compared to 31 assists through his first 14 appearances.

For a player who once appeared destined to drop dimes in a point-forward capacity, those numbers should raise some eyebrows.

The important thing to remember is he's still just 21 years old—the same age as most college seniors. And with physical tools that buoy his sturdy foundation, it's likely only a matter of time before he evolves into LeBron's most dynamic sidekick.

     

What's Next?

Both sides will be back in action Sunday. The Lakers will draw the Orlando Magic at home for their second meeting in the last eight days, while the Jazz are headed to Golden 1 Center for a showdown with the Sacramento Kings.

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