Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram provided the silver lining in an otherwise forgettable game of basketball on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.
The San Antonio Spurs led by as many as 28 points en route to a 119-98 rout at Staples Center, but Ingram finished with 22 points to set a new career-high after making eight of his first nine field goal attempts. Eventually, the lanky forward finished with 10 made field goals, which is also a new career-high, on 15 attempts.
"One of the few bright spots tonight was the way Brandon played out there today." Lakers coach Luke Walton said after the game.
Although Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 25 points on the day, Walton credited Ingram with challenging the forward on both ends and ultimately conceded that Leonard simply made tough shots.
"I thought our heart our competitive spirit, our lack of--especially in the first half--was a bigger issue (than turnovers)," Walton said moments after sitting down in front of reporters following the defeat.
At halftime, the Lakers had turned the ball over 12 times for 19 Spurs' points. Conversely, the Spurs' four turnovers had only yielded two Lakers' points through the first 24 minutes. Related, the Spurs led by 20 points at the break.
Walton added, "I told (the team) at halftime that's unacceptable in front of our home crowd, in front of a team like the Spurs."
Along with Ingram scoring 16 points in the second half, which was only one point shy of his previous career-high, the Lakers played the Spurs 58-57 for the final 24 minutes of Sunday's game.
LA never truly threatened the Spurs and never even got within 20 points past the 3:21 mark in the third quarter.
With the defeat, the Lakers fell to 19-41 on the season, while the Spurs improved to 45-13 with the victory.
Next, the Lakers host the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Notes: Former Lakers center Pau Gasol, who now plays for the Spurs, scored 15 points off the bench,including two three-pointers. Gasol received loud ovations from the crowd despite being on visiting team.