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The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 119-105 on Friday night at SAP Center in San Jose, California.
Lonzo Ball finished with eight points, six rebounds and seven assists in 24 minutes, with LeBron James, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo among the Lakers players taking the night off.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 37 points in limited action.
Lonzo Ball Showing Progress with Reworked Jump Shot
In addition to his solid all-around production, Ball was 2-of-3 on three-pointers, which was the most encouraging aspect of his performance.
Trevor Lane @Trevor_Lane
This is the shot the Lonzo needs to continue to hit (along with spot-ups). If he can do that and continue his high-level defense and ball movement he’s going to be a major asset this season. https://t.co/RWr0MK0Jnx
When he entered the NBA, Ball’s unique shooting form raised questions as to whether he could become a high-volume scorer. He proceeded to shoot 36.0 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from the perimeter as a rookie.
One preseason game doesn’t prove Ball is a vastly better long-range shooter, but it’s a step in the right direction. He spent part of his offseason tweaking his jumper to be a little less jarring and that work is paying off.
Especially with James joining the Lakers, Ball might have to adjust to life without the ball a little more in 2018-19. LeBron is bound to dominate possession when he’s on the floor, so Ball will limit his role in the offense if he can’t operate well playing off the four-time MVP.
James will create plenty of scoring opportunities for his teammates—Ball included. Based on Friday’s game, the Lakers can feel comfortable rolling with James and Ball in the same lineup to open the season.
Friday’s game brings an end to the preseason for both the Warriors and Lakers. Golden State opens the regular season Tuesday at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Los Angeles hits the road for a matchup Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers.