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Luke Walton Praises Lance Stephenson For Providing Boost Vs. Heat After Falling Out Of Rotation

Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP Photo

Through 27 games of the 2018-19 NBA season, Lance Stephenson has had his fair share of highs and lows with the Los Angeles Lakers.

After Stephenson scored in double-figures four times through the first eight games of the season, his role and minutes have been inconsistent. As head coach Luke Walton recently gave Michael Beasley an opportunity, he shared Stephenson fell out of the rotation due to turnovers.

With Beasley away from the team and Brandon Ingram still recovering from a sprained ankle, Stephenson remained prepared and received high praise from Walton after the team’s 108-105 win over the Miami Heat.

“It’s big for everyone to step up (with Brandon Ingram out). I don’t think we were playing a great game, so we were looking for different guys to bring it. Lance, I thought down the stretch in that fourth quarter, he was really big for us,” Walton said.

“I tell the guys all the time, different nights it’s going to be different people. We all have to stay ready. He would’ve finished the game off but they came back with bigs, so we had to match and make sure we didn’t get hurt more than we already were on the boards. He was very big for us.”

Heading into the season, one of the major strengths for the Lakers was their depth. While there is a shorter leash as the Lakers are trying to win now, Walton has stayed true to his word, and Stephenson has taken advantage of the opportunity.

Ingram will miss at least two more games and Rajon Rondo recently got his surgically-repaired hand drained, delaying his return.

Since the Lakers can always count of Stephenson’s energy off the bench, he will need to keep his turnovers down, especially during the upcoming four-game road trip.

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