It was some unlikely suspects that came up with the big plays in the fourth quarter, as the Los Angeles Lakers came from behind to beat the Indiana Pacers 105-100.
Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell did the buk of the scoring in the fourth, while Ketavious Caldwell-Pope came up with a critical steal on an inbound pass with 9.9 seconds left to deny the Pacers a shot to tie the game.
KCP steal seals the @Lakers win! 🔒 pic.twitter.com/ePo0nwQMmE- NBA (@NBA) March 13, 2021
Kuzma's late scoring explosion
Heading into the fourth, Kuzma had just nine points to his name and the Lakers trailed 79-71.
By the end of the game the 25-year-old had 24 points to go along with 13 rebounds and Los Angeles had rattled off a 34-21 final 12 minutes to snatch victory.
The performance marked the fifth time this season Kuzma has topped 20 points, falling just one point shy of his season high against Sacramento in the final game before the All-Star break.
✨ 24 PTS, 13 REB for @kylekuzma- NBA (@NBA) March 13, 2021
✨ 15 in the 4th quarter
Kuz propels @Lakers comeback win! pic.twitter.com/J7hoYowkSb
Known for his ability to score, the forward's impact on the glass has been telling of late, averaging 11 boards per game over his last six appearances.
On a team crying out for contributors to assist LeBron James while Anthony Davis is sidelined, the emergence of Kuzma will bring a smile to Lakers' fans faces.
LeBron's minute watch
Averaging 34.6 minutes per game coming in, there has been much speculation around the load James is carrying in the absence of Davis.
The problem for the Lakers is they desperately need their MVP candidate on the floor if they want to keep in touch with the top teams in the Western Conference. It was an understated night for LeBron in this one, with the 18 points and 10 assists coming in the standard 34 minutes of court time.
He's LeBron James, that's just what he does.- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 13, 2021
(📺: @SpectrumSN) pic.twitter.com/aPWrDXNFTp
Checking back into the game with 8:58 remaining and the Lakers trailing 86-78, James would be on the floor the rest of the way. With the above mentioned role players rising to the occassion, James would score just two points on 1-for-4 from the field and 0-for-2 from the free-throw line down the stretch.
In many respects, the fact James wasn't required to carry the Lakers home is one of the more pleasing aspects of the win if you're a Los Angeles fan.
Brogdon's big night
On a night where most struggled to shoot from the outside, Malcolm Brogdon had the touch.
A 23-point explosion in the first half led to an eventual tally of 29 for the guard, who also registered seven rebounds and six assists.
Malcolm is heating up 🔥#AlwaysGame | @MalcolmBrogdon7 pic.twitter.com/0hLS3JDvKT- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) March 13, 2021
Brogdon was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc on the night, while the rest of the Pacers' lineup struggled to finish 4-for-29.
AD's recovery continues
Prior to tip, the Lakers announced that Davis will be re-evaluated in two weeks time.
Anthony Davis has "been cleared to enter the next phase of his return to play process," per the Lakers, after being seen by team doctors tonight. He'll be re-evaluated in two weeks, per the team.- Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 13, 2021
MORE: AD inches closer to return.
The Pacers road trip will continue in Phoenix tomorrow, while the Lakers will have two nights off before they head to San Francisco to meet the Golden State Warriors.
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