For the second game in a row, Lonzo Ball was benched in the fourth quarter of a Los Angeles Lakers game, but this time around, his teammates on the court were not good enough to get the win.
The Lakers lost 115-109 at the Staples Center on Wednesday night to the Philadelphia 76ers, with Joel Embiid producing a performance for the history books of 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, and seven blocks, becoming the first ever NBA player to record that stat line in a game since blocks became official in 1973-74.
Ball, on the other hand, had a night to forget, as once again, he was very unimpactful with his shooting in front of the basket. The rookie played just 21 minutes, going 1-for-9 from the floor and missing all six of his 3-point attempts. He finished with a measly two points, five rebounds, and two assists.
After the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton tried to explain to why the point guard was performing so bad on the night, saying according to ESPN: "Why do I think he had an off night? I don't know, because he's 20 years old and plays the toughest position in the NBA? Someone else will have an off night tomorrow. Tonight it didn't seem like he had it."
However, the man himself added some clarity to the situation in his own interview, admitting his shooting struggles are affecting him. He said: "Usually I won't let it affect me, but tonight I did, missing layups, just a bad night."
Despite many people believing his strange jump shot is the main cause of his problems, Walton has said the team has no current plans to change it.
"We're not even talking about changing it during the season. We may not change it at all ever. He's been a good shooter his whole life and he's going to start making shots. That'll come with time," Walton said.
Ball may have had a bad night, but his teammates were having career nights in their attempts to get Los Angeles a win against Embiid and Ben Simmons of Philadelphia. Kyle Kuzma finished with a career-high 24 points and with seven rebounds while Brandon Ingram also had a career-high performance of 26 points.
The rookie will have a chance to get himself back on track after these last two disappointing performances on the court when the Lakers host the Phoenix Suns on Friday night at the Staples Center. Los Angeles has lost four of their last five, so the whole team needs to step up in this game.