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The Lakers played with more energy, more hustle and Lonzo Ball became the Lonzo Ball that fans came to see.
Ball erupted for 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, giving a Magic Johnson-like performance from the point guard spot, lifting the Lakers to a thrilling 132-130 win over the host Suns.
It was a far cry from Ball’s debut the night before, we he scored three points on 1-of-6 shooting in an ugly loss to Patrick Beverly and the dreaded Clippers.
“I think I took six shots, that’s not enough,” Ball told reporters. “I was one for six that’s not a good percentage. Times I did pass up I was passing for good shots we weren’t making them.”
Against the Suns, the Lakers displayed a much more balanced attack than in the opener — largely because of Ball’s ability to keep the offense moving.
Brandon Ingram had 25 points, Brook Lopez had 19 (with 11 rebounds) and Jordan Clarkson and rookie forward Kyle Kuzma came off the bench to score 17 and 15, respectively.
It was a needed win for the Lakers (1-1) and a needed performance for Ball.
Eric Bledsoe led the Suns (0-2) with 28 points and Devin Booker added 25 points and 11 boards. Rookie forward Josh Jackson scored 12 and is averaging 11.5 in the Suns’ two games.