LeBron James says passing can be ‘very infectious’ for the Lakers
LOS ANGELES – The 2018-19 NBA season is more or less over for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team has been eliminated from playoff contention while some of their best young players like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart have all been shut down for the season due to injuries.
However, the team has won four out of their last five games with the latest being a clinic against the Charlotte Hornets who were red hot coming into Friday’s matchup against the Staples Center. Kemba Walker and company had won four straight games and were keeping their playoff hopes alive, but the Lakers got into a rhythm offensively and put away Charlotte with relative ease.
The most impressive part of the win over the Hornets was the passing that was on display by Luke Walton’s squad. Rajon Rondo led the way with a season-high 17 assists followed by LeBron James who finished with nine assists to go along with a game-high 27 points.
“When you move the ball and share the ball, it creates good energy,” James said. “Everybody feels in a pretty good rhythm. It’s very infectious. It can lead to some good things offensively.”
The Lakers dished out a total of 34 assists on Friday night and showed they can still play at a high level even though they’re essentially playing for pride at this point in a lost season.
“You try to put the ball on time, on target,” LeBron said. “Myself, obviously Rondo and Caruso, as being the guys that are playmakers. We try to put the ball right on time, on target to our shooters. All they got to do is lace it up and shoot it. That’s our responsibility. Give all the credit to the teammates for knocking them down.”
Along with the 34 assists, the Lakers went 18-for-38 from beyond the arc with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope having another solid night from deep. The veteran guard led the way for Los Angeles from distance hitting 6-of-10 from three-point range. Caldwell-Pope finished with 25 points and continues to showcase his skills before he hits free agency this summer.
The Lakers will now go on the road to play two games away from Staples Center. LeBron and company will take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday at the Smoothie King Center followed by a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday.