Lonzo Ball has ‘no complaints’ after being benched in 4th quarter
Lonzo Ball didn’t resent his benching in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns. The prized rookie point man watched the last period from the bench as head coach Luke Walton rolled the dice with a hot Jordan Clarkson as Ball had struggled from the floor.
“We got a win so I got no complaints,” said Ball, who exited the game with 2:47 left in the third quarter for Clarkson, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “My teammates got it done in the fourth and we had to at least get one on this road trip.”
“We got the win, everything worked out, so I got no complaints and J.C. was hot,” he added. “I would have rolled with him, too.”
Clarkson has cherished his role as a sixth man of the team, now under a more stable situation than last year’s plug-and-play style under Walton.
The second-year head coach added that his choice was made out of feel, one which proved him right as his Lakers got a much-needed 100-93 win over the Suns.
“It’s tough and it’s a feel thing,” Walton explained. “Brewer and Clarkson were both incredible tonight; they had been out there, they were working hard and obviously Zo’s ability to play the game and run that point spot for us — there were a couple times I was one play away from putting him back in, and one of those guys would make a play.”
Ball struggled from the floor, scoring seven points and shooting a mere 3-of-10 from the floor while racking up four turnovers for the third straight game. Clarkson on the other hand scored five points as the Lakers closed the third with a 9-4 run, taking a one-point lead into the fourth.
The Lakers later went on a 17-7 run to lead by 10 with 2:43 remaining with Clarkson as the point guard, who proved the catalyst for this Lakers team, pacing them with 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field.