Here is what you need to know before the Lakers finish their back-to-back against the Washington Wizards.
1) Bron and Zo reached historic levels last night
Not once over the last 11 years had a pair of teammates done what LeBron James and Lonzo Ball did on Saturday: drop a triple-double in the same game.
In fact, it was just the eighth time that it has happened in NBA history, and first by a couple Lakers since Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar managed the feat in 1982.
Both players were dominant as the Lakers handed the Hornets a 28-point loss — their worst of the year.
LeBron (24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists) ate up Charlotte’s defensive scheme to the point where he didn’t even need to play in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Lonzo (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) seemed to never run out of stamina, as his two-way play sparked the Lakers on both sides of the ball.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 16, 2018
2) Lonzo was in lockdown mode
Kemba Walker entered that game as the league’s ninth-leading scorer, but he struggled to find any daylight against Ball’s length, strength and energy.
Walker finished the night with only four point on 2-of-13 shooting with three turnovers.
Ball also put his quick hands to use, collecting five steals against the team that surrenders the league’s fewest turnovers.
It was the first time a Laker had a triple-double and five steals in the same game since Magic Johnson 29 years ago.
In addition to his triple-double tonight, Lonzo Ball locked up Kemba Walker, who entered the game 9th in the NBA in scoring.
Kemba shot just 1-for-11 with 2 turnovers when guarded by Zo. pic.twitter.com/I7ayWbQhNN
— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) December 16, 2018
3) Wizards are in a slide
Washington has lost four straight, mainly due to a defense that ranks second-to-last in the NBA plus the league’s worst rebounding differential.
But the Wizards also boast one of the league’s best offensive weapons, Bradley Beal, who has dropped 30-plus points in three of his last five games. A bonafide three-level scorer and gifted passer, Beal will need to be a priority for the Lakers’ defense, along with John Wall.
It’s also always difficult for any team to win on the second night of a back-to-back, though the Lakers have been shockingly successful in those situations thus far, with a 5-1 record on the second leg.
Lakers: JaVale McGee (flu-like symptoms) is probable. Brandon Ingram (sprained left ankle), Rajon Rondo (right hand surgery) and Michael Beasley (personal reasons) are out. Alex Caruso and Johnathan Williams are on G League assignment.
Wizards:: Otto Porter Jr. (right knee contusion) is questionable. Dwight Howard (L4-L5 lumbar microdisectomy procedure) is out.
Tip-Off: 3 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1110 KRDC
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: Capital One Arena — Washington, D.C.
Source: Los Angeles Lakers