Here is what you need to know before the Lakers continue Summer League against the Sacramento Kings.
1) Lonzo is coming off a one-of-a-kind summer performance
After a rough debut on Friday, Lonzo Ball bounced back with a monster all-around effort on Saturday.
The second-overall pick posted 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to record the first triple-double at the Las Vegas Summer League in at least nine years.*
While Ball’s shot was still off on a 5-of-13 night from the field, he dazzled with his trademark passing that reminds Lakers president Magic Johnson of himself.
Under Ball’s direction, the Lakers turned up the pace, as he fired outlet passes and dashed up the court himself. He was just as effective in the half court, kicking out to 3-point shooters and setting up post players with clean entry passes.
*Statistical records are inconsistent prior to 2008.
2) Ball and Fox are set for an NCAA Tournament rematch
Ball will be going head-to-head against the draft’s No. 5 pick: Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox.
The two 19-year-olds already have plenty of history, as they faced each other twice in college last season. Ball’s UCLA Bruins took the first meeting in the regular season, but Fox earned a statement victory in the Sweet 16.
Using his elite speed, Fox constantly slashed through the paint against Ball and UCLA’s other guards, finishing the night with a season-high 39 points and 13 made free throws. On the other end, he kept the Bruins’ All-American in check, as Ball finished with 10 points and eight assists.
This matchup promises to be a clash of the Pacific Division’s future, with Ball and Fox planning to duel four times every year for quite some time.
3) Kyle Kuzma knows how to get buckets
Nobody thrived off Ball’s passing on Saturday like Kyle Kuzma did, as the fellow First Team All-Pac-12 selection went off for a 31-point night against the Celtics.
Kuzma — whose collegiate career-high at Utah was 26 — went to work inside and out, spotting up for five made 3-pointers, scoring from the low post and running the floor in transition.
Six of Kuzma’s buckets came off of dimes from Ball, who kept feeding the hot hand. Kuzma showed his ability to carry a large workload, putting up 26 shots (making a dozen) while also hauling in nine rebounds.
4) Injuries will force other Lakers to step up
The Lakers will be without Brandon Ingram (leg cramping), who will rest the remainder of Summer League, and Josh Hart (sprained right ankle), who hurt himself on a transition layup Saturday.
With those wings out, Ball and Kuzma will certainly be counted on to lead the offense. However, other scoring options will also need to emerge.
The chief candidate is Ivica Zubac, who has been quiet in Las Vegas after a strong rookie regular season. So far, Zubac has averaged only 6.0 points in 16.0 minutes, meaning there is plenty of room for him to assume a more central role on the summer squad.
Other options include David Nwaba — who has already compiled a reel of highlight dunks — 42nd-overall pick Thomas Bryant and NBA G League MVP Vander Blue.
5) Sacramento’s roster is filled with first-round picks
The Kings come to Vegas with seven total first-round draft picks from the past two years. While Harry Giles and Malachi Richardson are unlikely to play, they still have plenty more young players who figure to play in Sacramento this year.
Fox has been the leader already, averaging 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals in two Summer League games. Meanwhile, First Team All-Rookie selection Buddy Hield is looking to heat up his perimeter game after hitting just 1-of-11 from 3-point range.
Both teams also boast a pair of 2017 First Team All-Americans, as Ball and Hart were joined by Sacramento’s Justin Jackson and Frank Mason III. Ironically, in spite of such firepower, the Lakers and Kings each need this win to avoid an 0-3 start to summer.
Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes in L.A. NBA TV nationally
Radio: ESPN 710