THE Los Angeles Lakers overcame some injury scares early before riding a third quarter rally to an easy victory over the Indiana Pacers, 108-96, at the Staples Center on Friday (Saturday, Manila time)
Trailing 59-57 early in the third, the Lakers started pulling away behind a 26-12 blitz sparked by Brandon Ingram and Jose Calderon and took an 86-75 lead into the fourth. Lou Williams began taking over in the final period with back-to-back buckets putting the Lakers up by 19 midway through the quarter.
The Lakers led by as much as 20, 108-88, on a Julius Randle basket with 3:30 left in the fourth and the Pacers could only get within 12 the rest of the way.
Los Angeles starting guard D’Angelo Russell suffered a possible knee injury early in the first quarter and didn’t return. He’s scheduled for an MRI. Nick Young also got hurt in the first half before coming back after the break and knocked down five triples to finish with 15 points.
Williams led all scorers with 27 points. Randle added 16 markers, while Ingram and Young scored 15 apiece for the Lakers, who snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 16-31. Jordan Clarkson chipped in 12 points off the bench.
Paul George had 21 points for the Pacers (22-20). Al Jefferson was efficient off the bench with 20 markers in 17 minutes. Myles Turner added 15 points.